I’m guessing probably not.
What have I learned during the fifty or so one-on-one LinkedIn consultations I’ve done over the past few months? I learned that most people have a just-get-it-done attitude when it comes to responding to invitations to connect. Also, personal experience has taught me that a thoughtful, personal response will many times open the elusive door to opportunity.
Here are some simple ways you can capitalize on these inbound Linkedin invitations.
Attitude is Everything
Most people who invite you to join their network are hoping to build on a relationship you already have established. Others hope to start a new relationship that will be mutually beneficial.
Granted—there will be spammers or people who do not have your best interests in mind. That’s one of social media’s unavoidable challenges. In those cases, simply click Ignore and get rid of them as fast as you can.
Now, some people won’t take the time to explain why they want to connect with you. Others won’t even know how to send a personalized note. But if you start with the premise that these people could be referrals? And not simply people who just want to sell you something? It will be easier to spend a few extra minutes considering whether they’ll be a good addition to your network.
Uncover Potential Opportunities
Rather than dealing with your inbound Linkedin invitations while you’re standing in the grocery checkout line, set aside some time to devote to this task. Then open the entire list by clicking Network in your top toolbar and choosing Manage all. Then evaluate each invitation as follows:
If you know the person well and interact with them often? Click the Accept button and, at a minimum, send a message back. Thank them for initiating the invitation and express your desire to help each other in the future.
If the person or the company they represent sounds somewhat familiar to you? Go directly to their profile and see what information you can gather.
- How do they describe themselves in their Headline and Summary?
- How many connections do they have and how complete is their profile?
- Do you have any mutual connections?
- What responsibility do they have in their current job and where did they work in the past?
- What are they sharing and writing? (View their Articles and Activity)
- Where and when did they go to school?
- What accomplishments do they display?
The answers should help clarify whether they would be a good addition to your network.
If you choose to accept them, I challenge you to send a follow-up thank-you message. This simple, kind gesture will be the first step toward growing this relationship into one that will produce results.
It can also help to offer something of value in your note. Try a helpful resource or an invitation to an upcoming event. You can either attach the information or provide a link.
Another simple way to add value to this relationship is to introduce them to people who could help them. Hopefully the introduction will be beneficial for both parties.
Like to take it a step further? Suggest a follow-up phone call or meeting. I use Calendly, a calendar sharing tool that makes it easy to book an appointment with me.
If neither the person nor the company they represent is familiar to you? Don’t hastily click Ignore but instead follow the same vetting steps mentioned above. You may just find some gold in them thar hills.
They took the time to send you an invitation. Undoubtedly, They have a reason for wanting you to join their network. If you’d like to uncover the reason, you can send them a message before accepting the invitation.
Spend the extra time. Soon those relationships will bring new opportunities you would have missed. And you’ll never have to wonder if you lost a great connection, only because you hurried through your inbound Linkedin invitations.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula.
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and also the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.