More LinkedIn Changes… Reply without Accepting

To be accurate, this feature is not new.  Most people just don’t know that it is an option.  Before the LinkedIn Inbox changed over last month, we were able to reply without accepting right from the invitation section of the inbox.  Since the change-over, that feature has been removed.  This blog will walk you through the alternate option.

But first, let’s talk about why you would use this feature.  It really depends on your line of thinking with regard to your LinkedIn connections.  Are you someone that connects with everyone (also known as a L.I.O.N., or LinkedIn OpenNetworker), or are you someone that accepts invitations on a more limited basis?  Most LIONs I know do not really use this feature, but at All About Leverage we recommend this feature.

In general, if someone send you a connection request and does not indicate why they are interested (either because they sent the generic message or nothing at all), it is the perfect opportunity to open a dialogue.  So before accepting, ask why they are interested in connecting with you.  An example reply without accepting might look like this:

Hi (Name of Requestor),

Thank you so much for reaching out to connect on LinkedIn.  I didn’t see a message with your connection request.  Would you be so kind as to tell me why you are interested in connecting with me and we can investigate how I may be able to help you.  At that time, it would be my honor to connect with you on LinkedIn.

Good networking,

(Your Name Here)

This will allow you to determine whether the request is a legitimate request to actually connect, or if the person on the other end is blindly sending connection requests in an effort to build their network number.

Now that we’ve talked about why, let’s talk about how.

From the top right section of your screen, hover over the “add a connection” icon.  Then click on the word ‘Invitations’ on the top left of the drop down screen, right below the white text “Add Connections”.

You will be taken to the screen, “People You May know”.  The top section of this screen will provide you with your Pending Invitations.  As you can see in the picture below, there are multiple options from this screen for each individual invitation.

In order to ‘Reply Without Accepting’, hover over the quotation marks on the bottom right of the pending invitation, and you will see the drop down as shown below.  Click on the white ‘Reply’ arrow shown at the top right of that new drop down screen, and you will be redirected to your new inbox where you will be able to send a message without having to accept.

Other options included in each pending invitations:

  • Click the Blue Check Mark to accept.

Best practice– immediately send your new connection a message thanking them or confirming your scheduled phone call or meeting.

  • Click the Grey ‘X” to delete.
  • Hover over the overlapping circles in the bottom right corner to see you common connections.

Now that you know, I’d love to hear about your experiences and responses to your new prospecting method.  Please comment below with your feedback!

Also, don’t forget to check out Bobbie’s blog on “Withdrawing Invitations”!


  • Be the first to give to your new business relationships
  • Always pay it forward
  • Network with purpose.

Good luck and good networking! Remember… It’s All About Leverage.

Contact Bobbie for more information on Social Selling training.  Don’t forget to check out our website for our suite of services!

Register for our upcoming FREE Networking Event in Center City, Philadelphia on November 4th from 8:30 – 10:30 AM.

2 Topics:

Leveraging LinkedIn for Business Development

To Make It Rain, You Have to Know What Works

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About Bobbie

Bobbie specializes in helping executives as well as sales & marketing teams maximize client acquisition through the intersection of face-to-face networking combined with social selling techniques. Her customized programs and processes not only help in building the right network of prospects, clients, referral partners, and centers of influence, but also provide techniques to become thought leaders in their industry and stay top of mind with their targets.

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