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What to Do When Mike Lipkin Asks You to Connect?

Have you noticed an increase of questionable requests to connect on LinkedIn? I'm not talking about the spam requests from people halfway around the world you've never even talked to. I'm talking about the ones from people with whom you are connected at a second or third level, whom you have heard of, but have never met or even spoken to.

Recently I received an invitation to connect from Mike Lipkin. I was flattered to receive that request; I hear he's a great public speaker, and he is the president of a very large market-research company. But we've never met, and I am not sure WHY he would want us to connect.

Maybe I'm old-school, but I'm very careful about the people I do or do not connect with on LinkedIn. I've written about this in the past; stop the pollution on LinkedIn.  

It occurred on me that perhaps someone else was managing his account, an outsourced social media person. How else could I explain why he didn't write a note with his invitation to connect, stating how clever he thought one of my articles had been, or how he had heard about my work through a mutual friend?

So I wrote Mr. Lipkin a message:

Dear Mike,
Thank you for your request to connect.  My LinkedIn policy is to accept requests only from people I know; colleagues I have worked with, done business with or interacted with through a group or association.  Can you please remind me how we know each other? Otherwise, please forgive me but I must decline. Perhaps we will have opportunity to meet in the future.

With Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation coming into effect July 1, 2014, your LinkedIn connections will become very precious conduits to get your message out to the prospects and clients who trust us enough to want to connect. So treat your requests and acceptances to connect with care. Otherwise we may push this very useful tool to become as overused as our email inbox.

P.S. I haven't received an answer to my inquiry.  So Mike, if you read this, please let me know your thoughts!