Introductions – Are 5 Enough?

Carol writes about Introductions: If you’ve made 5 introduction requests, none of which has taken place, is there a better way besides paying for a subscription to move them along or should you withdraw some and send them out at another time?

Great question – here’s some factors to consider…

How long have they been idle?

You’ll have to come up with your guide, but I use four days as a base. Less than that, and you might look anxious. Longer than that and a polite followup should be reasonable.

Requests that have been idle after a followup may not be going anywhere…

2nd or 3rd Degree Connection?

It’s clear that an introduction request to a 3rd degree connection is a bit trickier than a 2nd – you’re banking that your direct connection will recommend you strongly enough that an individual who doesn’t know you directly will forward the introduction with an endorsement.

How many do you need?

So unless you’re asking for a bunch of introduction requests at the same time, the 5 with the free account should be sufficient.

If you’re a recruiter, you’re probably using InMail anyway;-)


This is a point I make at every speaking engagement – just because you can use the LinkedIn system to ask for an introduction doesn’t mean you have to use it. You might be better served if you call up your contact and ask if the three of you can go out to lunch, coffee, or drinks – and that doesn’t use any of your invitations.

Another option

If you have multiple contacts that reach the individual you’d like to be introduced to, it’s very reasonable to cancel one introduction request and try again with another one of your contacts. (and perhaps look to establish a better relationship with the first)

What options have you used?

I’m curious what others have done – part of my job as the LinkedIn Personal Trainer is to learn what others have been doing with the system. How have you addressed stalled invitations and the limit of 5 active requests?



  1. Hey Steve!

    Great blog!

    The five Introduction limit is a hassle. The best way around this is to NOT use the Introduction feature. Just send the person you are connected with a request for them to forward your message to the desired connection. This way, it’s only a message.

    -Lon Safko, author of The Social Media Bible

  2. Lon,

    Thanks for the comment – personally, I like calling the direct connection and suggesting lunch;-) Yes, what you do with the information after you have it is up to you and your style.

    When the person you’d like to contact is a 3rd degree connection, you need to dig deeper to find a way.


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