Ever Get LinkedIn Connection Requests From Strangers? Here’s How To Respond….

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Ever Get LinkedIn Connection Requests From Strangers? Here’s How To Respond….

Personalizing each and every connection request on LinkedIn is my #1 tip.

Not only does it start the conversation with your potential connection, but you’re also much more likely to be accepted into that person’s online “Rolodex”.

We’ve all received connection requests from strangers.

My belief is, we don’t exchange business cards without a conversation, so engaging on LinkedIn should be treated the same way.

Keeping a database of QUALITY connections is much more strategic for you and your business and it helps to prevent spam.

Ever wonder how to reply to stranger requests WITHOUT clicking the “Accept” button?

Here’s how:

Step #1: In the top right hand corner of your LinkedIn profile, click on the “envelope”, and mouse over to the “Messages” link.


Step #2: Click on the to the “Invitations” link to see a list of people who have invited you to connect.

Step #3: Beneath the image of each person who has invited you to connect with them, there is a tiny drop-down arrow beside the “Accept” button.

Click on that drop-down arrow and then click on the link “Reply (don’t accept yet)


Step #4: This new field will appear and you can customize your reply with copy.

I typically respond with one of the following:

“Thanks for the invitation to connect (name).
Can you please refresh my memory as to how we know each other?”

– OR-

“Thank you for the invitation to connect (name).

I don’t think we’ve met before, but I see that we have (name) in common.

I’d love to know more about your business! Can we schedule a time for a conference call or meet for a cup of coffee?”

This way, I’m not just adding random people into my network. I’m building QUALITY connections and deepening relationships.

Isn’t that what Social Media is after all? A way to be SOCIAL?!

If you’re looking to watch how this process works, here’s a short 3-minute video taking you through each of the steps:


Now it’s YOUR turn: Have YOU ever obtained new business as a result of engaging on LinkedIn? 

Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Social Media Trainer and Principal of PUNCH!media

Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and has been working in digital marketing since 1997.  Founded PUNCH!media in 2009, our clients include The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and Jones Lang LaSalle.

PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so that you convert higher-paying clients.

Click here to sign up to our weekly newsletter with tips on LinkedIn that I don’t share anywhere else! –> www.punchmedia.ca/email.html

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  1. Victoria Monachino July 28, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    This was very helpful!

    I am wondering if you have any posts with advice on how to reach out to someone who has recently viewed your profile multiple times, and might be a good prospect.

    • Leslie Hughes July 28, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      That’s a great idea, Victoria. I will put together a post on how to reach out.

      As a top line response, I would suggest taking a look at that person’s profile to see if you have anything in common (or any common connections). Then, you can send them a personalized connection request.

      If they are looking at your profile a few times, perhaps they are interested in hiring you.

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