It’s become common practice for LinkedIn “experts” to recommend you send 50 invitations to connect every day.

They recommend 50 invitations a day because they’ve determined this is the “magic number” which lets you stay below LinkedIn’s radar. 

"Sales is a numbers game and if you connect with enough people on LinkedIn you will eventually make a sale” the gurus preach. 

This is the modern day version of cold calling. Remember the good old days of cold calling?

  1. Call 100 strangers

  2. If you don’t make a sale, call 100 more strangers

  3. Repeat until you will make a sale

When you sell to a complete stranger through cold calling, how often are they satisfied with their purchase and how often do they become repeat customers? Rarely in my experience. 

Cold calling is hard because nobody answers their phone these days unless they recognize the number. Do you ever return voicemails left by a complete stranger? Hell no!

Back to why I don’t buy into this theory of inviting 50 people a day to connect.

Let’s look at the numbers. 

Invite 50 people a day every weekday equals 250 invitations each week.

Let’s say you do this 50 weeks a year to keep the numbers simple.

You are sending 12,500 invitations connect every year, almost all of them to complete strangers. 

LinkedIn says 60% of their members log in less than once a month so most people won’t see your invitation to connect for weeks, even months.

When you send 12,500 invitations a year, only 5000 may be seen by active LinkedIn users. 

LinkedIn doesn’t tell us what percentage of invitations are accepted so let’s say 20% accept your invitation to connect. 

That’s 1000 new LinkedIn connections who know very little about you or your business.

LinkedIn also penalizes you if you have too many outstanding invitations so you have to periodically clean out your invitation queue.

If too many people click “I don’t know you” then you get penalized even more. Your account gets flagged and you can’t invite people to connect unless you know their email address. 

The LinkedIn “experts” teaching this approach also recommend using a “personalized” invitation message. This “personalized” message is usually an insincere attempt to find something in common followed by a sales pitch.

"I came across your info here and thought it would be beneficial to connect. I look forward to learning more about you. Let’s connect!

By the way, I help coaches and consultants generate leads on LinkedIn and close high-ticket deals. Do you need help with your LinkedIn lead generation?”

When someone starts their sales pitch in the invitation to connect message, I immediately reject their invitation to connect message because I know they will pummel me with sales pitches if I do accept their connection request. 

My clients are telling me the endless stream of self-promotions is turning them off. Eventually, people will stop logging into LinkedIn because they get tired of the spam.

Let’s put this in a real world scenario.

You attend a two hour networking event with 50 business professionals. 

Some people will try to collect business cards from every person at the event. That means they will spend an average of 2.4 minutes chatting with each person. How much can you learn about someone in 2.4 minutes when your focus is just collecting their business card?

Does speed dating work? I have no idea because I’ve been off the market for years but I know speed networking does not work.

Others attend networking events with the intention of closing deals. 

How do you react when you meet someone at a networking event who is trying to sell you something immediately after shaking your hand?

Smart networkers attend these events with the intent on connecting on a deeper level with a handful of people. You build a stronger relationship with these people which often leads to follow up meetings, new clients, and referrals. 

Realistically, you can have meaningful conversations with no more than 5 to 10 people at a short networking event. 

Whether it’s in person or on LinkedIn, focus on quality, not quantity and you will see dramatic results with happier customers and lots of great referrals. 

Next, I’ll explore Dean Jackson’s latest revelation, Now or Not Now. Keep an eye on your inbox to get the details.

About the author 

Ted Prodromou

Would you like me to help you?

I'm the #1 best-selling author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. People call me America's Leading LinkedIn Coach.

I'm the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service online marketing agency. The SMS team designs and implements advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. SMS will set up and manage your marketing funnels using organic, social and paid traffic.

Did you know I've been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it?

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