I received a question from a connection that I frequently receive, so I thought I’d share the question and my answer here:
John … has sent you a message.
Subject: your connection – how do you keep up?
Hi Lori – I’ve seen you consistently adding more and more people to your connections. I wonder…do you know all these folks or do you just add anyone who asks so that people see what you are up to? I connected with you because I think you have content of interest. In the world of LinkedIn – does anyone really have to know anyone else well, or is the importance on gaining connections to gain opportunities the main focus?
Great question. Our methodology is described on http://RockLinkedIn.com, but in summary, my method was to ask “why not” when people reached out to me on LinkedIn. After all, I don’t know what value someone might bring to me and my network until I have a chance to get to know them better. Like you said: “I connected with you because I think you have content of interest.” So whether I connect or not, I always try to respond with a little about who I am and how I help people.
Now that my network is full, always hovering at 30,000 people, I have to be much more particular. So, I tend to accept people who I think, based on a cursory glance of their profile or because of their custom invitation, I may be able to do business with. I know this methodology dilutes the social graph but I find it much more powerful for me as a revenue producer to ask “why not” instead of “why”.
In the end, I try not to judge people who reach out to shake my hand. I wouldn’t ignore them if they were standing right in front of me, I try not to ignore them online.
Hope that helps!