How often have you gotten a LinkedIn invitation from someone you don’t know? What do you do? Do you wonder things like: how did they find you, or wonder if you met them at some point and time and forgotten them? Some LinkedIn users collect as many network connections as possible and others are a bit more selective. So which is the best strategy: quality or quantity of network connections?
I advise clients to be selective about who they have in their network. A network connection is not a good connection if they don’t return calls or emails or can’t be counted on to link you to others or make introductions. Your network connections should all know what you do and how they can help you. In a sense they should be your mini ambassadors. Having a fleet of network connections that are unhelpful or unreliable isn’t worth it. Selectively surrounding yourself with key network contacts helps your reputation and will draw more quality people to you.
When I get a LinkedIn invitation from someone I do not know, I often suggest first meeting for coffee so I can learn more about them and how I can be supportive. This also gives me a chance to tell them about me and my business. During this meeting I explain how I use and count on my network so that if they aren’t interested in being a quality network contact, I know that before “accepting” that LinkedIn invitation.