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BLOGLinkedIn Spam Reduction Strategy

by Randall CraigFiled in: Make It Happen Tipsheet, Blog, Business Development, Social MediaTagged as: ,

How many idiotic pitches do you get on LinkedIn each week? If you’re like most people, the answer is… too many. And so the question becomes, what can you do about it?

LinkedIn Spam Reduction Strategy

One of the current practices (let’s not call it a “best” practice) that people use on LinkedIn, is to reach out to a prospect based on an affinity of some type, and then ask to be a connection.

The request to be a contact can start out innocently (“I notice that we have 25 common connections, and we both worked at ABC company during 2016; I’m surprised we haven’t met before.”), or it can be a bit more reaching (“I noticed we’re both in the XYZ LinkedIn group.”) But whichever the case, you are asked to be a connection. And more often than not, you accept.

Within minutes of accepting the connection, the pitch comes in. It can be soft, such as “I thought I’d share that I’m in the business of X; if you have any questions, please ask.” Or, the pitch can be hard sell. “Do you have problems like XXXX? I’m in the business of solving that problem. Let’s hop on a call, and I will tell you more: Here’s my calendar link”.

The problem with this strategy is simple: the pitch assumes that there is trust, and there is not. So as the unwilling receptacle for these pitches, here is how to minimize them:

  1. If the request comes from someone in “suspect” countries (e.g. Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Russia, etc.), don’t accept the connection, and then click “I don’t know this person”.
  2. If the request comes from someone with a title that may be “suspect” to you (e.g. Anything with Sell, Bus Dev, Grow, Actualize, Insurance, Wealth Management, etc.), don’t accept the connection, and then click “I don’t know this person.”
  3. If the request comes from someone with a “suspect” account (few common or credible connections, incomplete profile, few common or credible connections, etc.), don’t accept the connection, and then click “I don’t know this person.”
  4. If you do wish to connect with the person, likely because you think there may be some benefit, then of course do so. But write them a note back that says that you’re happy to be a connection, but no commercial solicitations please. And if they do send one, then immediately remove the connection.
  5. Take care of your history: Go through your messages, and then disconnect from anyone who you don’t know, who has sent you an unsolicited pitch. They may have already harvested all of your connections, but by disconnecting from them at least they can’t harvest them for their use going forward.
  6. Become invisible to pitch-seeking sales reps who search LinkedIn for prospects with decision-maker titles. It may be a double-edged sword, but changing your title to something nondescript will reduce the number of pitches considerably.


Don’t settle for being a receptacle for these idiotic pitches. But also realize that you do have agency, and can control the flow of them coming in. This week, stem the flow by being more decisive about who you choose to connect with.

Related post: LinkedIn Prospecting – A New Social Contract?

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