Noticed a flurry of connection requests on LinkedIn recently?  Me too.   

But, what happens when you accept a connection request and then you get a sales pitch straight after?

It's frustrating, annoying and will probably result in a "disconnect".  All of which takes up unnecessary emotion but most importantly, your time (which you probably don't have a lot of).

So here's my tip.  

Don't accept the connection request in the first place.  

It doesn't take long to figure out the driving behaviour behind someones intention on LinkedIn.  Here are some clues:

❌ They don't personalise the invitation

❌ They personalise the invitation with a generic message

❌ They have over 10K people in their network (who knows that many people?!)

❌ You have low/no mutual connections

Too often, I see people falling into the trap of quantity over quality.  This doesn't mean connecting to only people you know (there are techniques for opening conversations here) but it does mean spending a little time vetting who you let into your network in the first place.

Now, more than ever, it's important to focus on network quality

Connecting to people you don't really know is a risk - they may use your name to gain access to people in your network e.g.

"We're both connected to ABC at COMPANY NAME - it would be great to have a conversation about XYZ"

So, here's the key lesson.  It's also okay to ignore connection requests.  In fact, I'm finding myself ignoring more than I'm accepting

The requestor won't be notified that you rejected their invitation to connect.  They'll likely just move onto the next person on their list.  

The only way you'll stop the sales messages hitting your LinkedIn inbox after you accept a connection request is to vet them earlier in the process.