When people you don’t know request to connect on LinkedIn, what do you do? Do you reject LinkedIn invitations or do you accept invitations? If you do accept their invitation, do you ever get in contact with them or do they reach out to you?
Sending out cold sales pitches to random strangers seems to be a beloved tactic of a lot of people on LinkedIn. There’s a good chance you’ve already experienced this yourself! I used to try to talk to them or tell them ‘no’ after they messaged me but now I’ve changed my approach to answering them and accepting LinkedIn requests in general.
Here’s why I decided to reject LinkedIn invitations
I’ve accepted way too many connections who end up selling immediately with non-contextual, unnecessary services. Here are some examples of the messages I’ve received for newly accepted LinkedIn requests outside of my network:
- “Buy a ticket to this (totally unrelated) virtual event!”
- “Let’s get on a call – I can quadruple your sales in 2 months!”
- “Let me build an app for you, set up a calendar event here!”
That is only a handful of the many, many sales-related messages I’ve received, too.
When I first started receiving these messages, I wanted to be polite so I responded by saying some variation of “no thanks.” But as the messages kept coming in, I changed my tactics. When people reached out to sell me their product or service (normally completely unrelated to what I did as an immigration lawyer) I started to tell them that this pitch doesn’t work for me and won’t work for others. If they keep trying to cold pitch to uninterested people, they will not close any deals.
Now instead of doing either of these strategies, I just reject LinkedIn invitations outright. Accepting these requests and responding to them was wasting too much of my time. I’ve also created loose criteria to help me filter out requests that are trying to sell me something instead of looking for a genuine connection.
My 5 criteria to check when I reject LinkedIn invitations
While I do have some more in-depth process for LinkedIn request, these are my five criteria when I reject LinkedIn invitations:
- We don’t have any mutual contacts (it’s a good hint that they are not really interested in what I do as a professional)
- The person runs an IT outsourcing firm (they tend to be on the hunt for any kind of new client)
- The person is in charge of and/or runs business development for almost any kind of company (similar to the outsourcing firm, they are looking for as many sales as possible in a short time)
- They are otherwise totally unrelated to my industries (for example, they work in hospitality sales or other another industry with seemingly no connection instead of legal, immigration or global mobility)
- They have less than 100 connections (they might be new to LinkedIn and starting to add as amny random as people as possible to start messaging them their pitches)
Obviously, these aren’t rules I use every single time but it’s been a great way for me to cut down on obnoxious sales pitches and focus more on my own LinkedIn engagement and why I use LinkedIn in the first place: making authentic connections.
There are people I also reject that don’t fit the above criteria based on my more detailed processes. Check out the more detailed post on when I deny LinkedIn invitations here.
Do you reject LinkedIn invitations? And if so on what basis? I’d love to know about your personal criteria for accepting LinkedIn connections…Leave a comment below and share your story!