“Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn”.
Many of Linkedin connection requests start with this kind of invitation message. All suggestions we read about Linkedin networking management tell us that it’s the worst way to expand your linkedin connection. Right, and I will not repeat here what many on-line networkers tell since the Adam & Eve’s age.
Anyway it happens you receive such a kind of invitation. If you’re a taleban networker you’ll ignore it immediatly. If you are a open networker, you accept all requests so why wouldn’t you add this too? But if you are a keen networker maybe you would like to know more about her/him and to know why they are adding you and, mainly, if they are really interested in you or if they want only a stamp more on their connection list.
Because networking management is a time consuming activity and it has to be maximized, the verification and evaluation of potential contacts and connections should be a “must-do”.
So, How to verify people telling they trust you?
1. Check the person’s profile.
First of all take a look at the person profile (who is, what he does, who are her/him connections, look at shared connections or groups you share each other).
- Check for location area. Is she/he leaving on operating in a area you are interested in as target market?
- Check for position/industry. Is she/he working in your target industry? Could she/he be helpful for your business?
- Check groups the connection is attending: are they compatible with your expertise?
- Check for actual connections. How many connection you share each other? Take note of the shared connection and in case ask them if they know her/him.
It often happens that users has limited profile for non-connection. Personally, if I found a profile like that, usually I’m going to refuse the invitation. Anyway, if my interior voice murmurs, I ususally collect more information about the sender, especially using tools such as 123people, social mentions or mentions in order to verify the presence in the social-sphere. Her/his social-related usage can make understand how she/he could approach the on-line networking. If the person has a low presence or low interaction, probably she/he is not fond in on-line networking and she/he is only having a “telemarketing” approach and she/he considers LinkedIN like a big address list.
2. Request for more information before accept.
If person erroneously sent the non-personilized message and you refuse the connection, you should lose an opportunity. So, reply to her/him and ask the reason why she/he wants to connect with you. Your goal is to understand if she/he is or not really interested in your profile and expertises.
Ask directly how you can be helpful and why you are asking. In this way you can understand the really intention of the contact. If she/he responds to you that her/him goal is generally to “explore business opportunity”, it’s better you leave because it means :
- she/he doesn’t know why is adding you so, why share your network?;
- she/he only wants to surf your contact list in order to reduce the distance among connections;
- she/he wants to add another email to personal address list.
It could happen the sender will not reply to your request and you will have saved yourself from an high “spam action” risk.
Do you verify “anonymous” connection request? Do you use different methods?