I get about five or six requests to connect with people on LinkedIn every day. I consider each and every request in the spirit I hope others will consider my requests to connect with them. I used to accept invitations only from those I knew - or at least had met in person. I abandoned that policy because I myself have requested to connect with people on Linkedin that I do not know and have not met because I think there is a basis for mutual interest. It only seems fair that I should thoughtfully consider requests from people whom I do not know (yet).
I review the profiles of each person who invites me to connect. I generally accept invitations that are authentic and relevant to my professional endeavours. The reasons I reject invitations are for the following reasons:
No picture or picture is an icon or a company logo. I'm looking to connect with 'real' people, not with people with no faces or inanimate objects. I value relationships with people, not with entities. If I want to follow your company, I will do so under the 'Companies' section of Linkedin. I can not know you or trust you if I cannot see you. I need to put a face to a name.
Incomplete or sparse profile. If you can't take the time to list your work history, educational background, and other information that helps me learn who you really are and what you are all about, why do I need you in my network?
Few connections and no recommendations. I am immediately suspicious of invitations from people who have few if no connections. Such a profile screams 'SCAMMER'. If no former supervisor, colleague, teacher, or friend has recommended you, why should I?
Your invitation reads, "I'd like to add you to my professional network on Linkedin." If you can't take two minutes to write, 'Hey Mike, I know we don't know each other, but I think we have some mutual interests (or connections) and I would value you in my network," then I won't take even one second to click "accept."
You lied about how you know me. If your LinkedIn invite says your are a former colleague or we have done business together...and we haven't...well, that's a bad way to start a new relationship.
Your connection invitation was preceded by an InMail which was essentially a sales pitch for your company or products/services.
Your profile title says you are a "visionary" or you have 10,000+ connections, which intimates that I must be a dolt, because I have no vision and so fewer connections than you, and obviously would love to be one of your groupies. Really? Please spare me the privilege of being in your network.
Be you. Be real.