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Accepting invitations to connect on LinkedIn : Do you really connect?

20130615-183959.jpg 300 invitations to connect on LinkedIn to review and counting.

I’ve been working on requests to connect on LinkedIn this evening. Not requesting to connect with people, but responding to other professional’s requests to connect with me. Unfortunately, I can let invitations slide for a month or two, just hitting some on a hit and miss basis.

I don’t just click accept after a quick review of who the invitation is from. I look at the background of the person. I like to learn a little about them and to see if we have something in common.

If they’re a lawyer or work in a law firm, I often go to LexBlog’s CRM system (Salesforce) to see if they’re a client or an author on one of our network blogs. After all, it’s only polite to acknowledge our relationship, to ask how things are going, and to see if there’s anything I can personally do for them.

I then drop a personal note through LinkedIn to each person whose invitation to connect I accept. I thank them for reaching out to connect, often exchange pleasantries about something we have in common, and let them know not to hesitate to contact me if there is ever anything I can help them with. Finally, I wish them well – often saying to have a great weekend as it’s the weekend when I carve out the time for LinkedIn invitations.

Is it worth it to do all this? I don’t know. But it sure seems like the polite thing to do.

And I have had clients come up to me years after receiving one of my notes on LinkedIn (I do this also when accepting requests to join my Legal Blogging Group) to let me know they’ve never forgotten the note.

If being polite and civil in this day of rapid Internet engagement helps you stick out from the crowd, I’ll take it.

How about you? Do you take the time to really ‘connect’ when you get an invitation to connect on LinkedIn? Can you see how it may be worthwhile?

Image courtesy of Flickr by Claire P.