I was recently at a bar with someone I had only met that day at a meeting and he introduced me to four other of his industry colleagues. The first made me feel like he had me by the ankles and was turning me upside down to empty my pockets. Despite the fact that I wasn’t in the market to buy from him he pestered me and completely alienated me. However by the end of the evening, of the other three people I had gained two business cards with an interest in what I had to offer. The secret- drinking beer and forgetting about buisness. It’s about making a connection and bringing business in at the appropriate point and not that being the point.
And that is the same with Linked In. Go in measured and targeted and helpful. I get put off by linking with people with multiple hundreds or thousands of connections because I don’t feel that they would have time for me and they are looking to maximise their benefit at the expense of others.
Choose carefully who you link to and approach them with a benefit to them rather than treat them as a just sales opportunity for you. In much the same as you would in a business or social networing situation.