One of the ways that I use LinkedIn is to connect with people in my local Chamber. Many of the meetings have anywhere from 45 to 70 people. It’s simply imposible to meet everyone.
I assume that most people attending have the same goal as me…to meet and network with as many people as possible. So after each meeting I send a LinkedIn invitation to those that I am not connected to. I’ve found that most often this connection (where I don’t personally know the person and have not had a prior conversation with) usually leads to a conversation at the next event. In fact I make it a point to introduce myself personally at the next meeting. LinkedIn can be a great ice-breaker.
Yesterday I sent out about 6 invitations to people that attended the same event yesterday morning. Two people chose to not connect, but it’s how they chose to not connect that impressed me.
Not everyone accepts the invitation, but Bill McDermott and Mitch Copman both took the time to email me back their reason’s for not accepting the invitation. That says a lot about them as a person. The reason’s for not connecting are irrelevant. Some people are Lion’s, some are Closed networkers and some like myself are what I would call a Networker (someone who uses LinkedIn to connect to those they know and meet and to those they would like to know or meet). Each person has to choose the strategy that best works for them.
Do you respond to every connection request? Or do you sometimes ignore and archive requests that you choose to not accept? What you do says a lot about you as a person. I’m not connected to Bill or Mitch, but because they took the time to respond to my invitation, I will keep them in mind if I ever come across someone that would be a great lead or introduction for them.