- Thank them for reaching out to you (reinforcing that they sent you the invitation)
- Acknowledge that you have some of the same connections in common (reinforcing that you are not a complete stranger but rather someone they should get to know)
- Offer the assumption that they have at least skimmed your profile and are connecting for a particular reason and not just spamming you (“I’m assuming you got a look at my profile and know what I do.”)
- Offer to make introductions into your network that may be valuable to them (lead with value), and
- Briefly recap what you do and let them know that if you can be of service to them in your professional capacity, you are more than happy to do it.
PRO TIP: Send your personalized response through LinkedIn AND via email from your business account. This reinforces your willingness to foster a relationship with them, and gives them your work email as well as all the additional contact information most of us put in our signature lines (LinkedIn profile, url, mobile number, skype, twitter, etc.).