Yes, that’s the response I send back when I receive a request to connect to someone using the boiler plate (read: boring, lazy, dull; your choice) invitation to connect to someone I have no connection to, or have ever dealt with, and I receive one or more almost every day.

These come to me using the default language that LinkedIn allows.

bad connection request

This tells me that the inviter is not thinking how the connection can be of benefit to either of us.  In the effort to be professional, I send back Have we met? Do we know each other? in an email and await a reply. 99 out of 100 times, there is none in 24 hours, so I delete the request. Only once did someone reply, my cousin Mary suggested I contact you and see if you can help me.

My mind asks, so, why didn’t you say that the first time?

No one calls another person on the phone they do not know and says hello and that’s all. This is SOCIAL media.  You need to introduce yourself: via shared connection or mutual interests, to make the contact more fluid and interesting. Tell me where we met, how we know each other through someone in common, how I can help you.

Sometimes I have to say no thank you. Rejection emails contain my reply: I am sorry but my policy is to connect to people I have either met or gotten to know through business so I will respectfully decline your offer to connect. Thank you.

Thus, all future default-language connection requests will receive an email containing the title above and a link to this blog posting. Those I decline will soon see the reason I say no thanks.

A large nugget, no let’s call it a chunk from me. This is my one-man crusade to convert the boring side of LinkedIn to the enlightened state. Care to join me in changing this very small part of the LinkedIn world?