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How do you manage your LinkedIn Connections? Mine are good , bad or downright ugly.

I wanted to share my thoughts around inviting people to be LinkedIn connections, receiving requests, and the consequences of accepting them. LinkedIn requests and connections fall into the category of good, bad, and downright ugly.

First and foremost when I make a connection request I do so because I believe I can offer value. I have worked the last ten years to get organizations to offer professional development resources to those who work in the Office of the CFO (this includes AP, AR, Treasury, Accounting, and all who work in the Finance department) for free. I often reach out to people to inform them of free events that offer great content, and professional certification credits. This type of connection request is a "good" LinkedIn request, and when I accept a request and someone is not immediately trying to sell me something, that can be a good LinkedIn connection.

A bad LinkedIn request is made without thought, with no personal message, and with the sole intent of connecting with someone simply to close a sales transaction. A bad LinkedIn connection is a person who only wants to sell you something, not offer you value in even what they are selling, let alone being helpful in any way in connecting you with your peers.

The last category, the ugly. Here is an example, someone reached to ask me to join a networking group, once I accept, I then immediately get a sales pitch in private wealth management. This is quite simply the bait and switch at its worst. Note, I have removed my connection from this person. The bait and switch connection request or connection is "the ugly". LinkedIn can be a tremendous tool, but those who use bait and switch tactics make those of us who don't, suffer, and cause those who do not accept our requests to miss out because they have been burned from bad and/or ugly Linked connection requests and/or bad connections in the past.

Unfortunately, I need to add another "ugly" story that I have experienced since the time I originally posted this article. I make a LinkedIn connection with a fellow Finance Leader, very promising. He endorses me for several skills. I never asked him to endorse me for anything, and I find no value in that LinkedIn function by the way. He then asks me to endorse him. I tell that I do not know him and as such I can't endorse him. That is just against my professional integrity. He then proceeds to call me rude and lectures me in a message.

LinkedIn should be a relationship generation tool, not one for sales, marketing, and biz dev people looking to close a deal or provide a "lead" to a third party.

Think about it, let's make LinkedIn a better place!

Answers

Anonymous
(Director of Finance) |

I usually don't endorse the skills of others unless I know them personally/professionally or I know the company that they are with and the context of their position with that company. I feel that if I blindly endorse someone and they aren't knowledgeable or competent in a particular area, I am showing a lack of credibility.

Steve Sheridan
Title: Associate
Company: Dean Lewis Associates
(Associate, Dean Lewis Associates) |

What do you all think when a person requests a connection but you haven't had good experiences with that person? Or, when they are representing a company in which you have a moral objection?

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

On the former, don't link. On the latter, tell the person to contact you and do what we used to do all the time, have a phone conversation and develop that relationship for real...

Jason M. Jones LPA
Title: Deputy Treasurer - Staff Accountant
Company: Franklin County Treasurer
(Deputy Treasurer - Staff Accountant, Franklin County Treasurer) |

After receiving too many connection requests from people who do not know me, and can neither be bothered to send a customized invite introducing themselves to me & the reason for reaching out, nor do they have a clear reason to connect with me, but they confuse connecting with me with following my posts (something they can do on their own), I have "turned off" my connect request button, meaning if they don't know my email address, they cannot send a connect request, except via InMail, which at least shows they are serious about connecting, and won't waste my time.

I don't mind people reaching out to me & wanting to connect, but let it be for a meaningful purpose that's mutually beneficial.

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