Remember cold calling?

You may still get the occasional robo-dial or automatic spam machine dialing your phone now and then…but ever since the internet took over, there’s been a new sheriff in town. Prospecting on LinkedIn is now one of the hottest and most effective tactics a sales team can use nowadays, especially if you’re in B2B.

However, that doesn’t make LinkedIn immune from salespeople with bad messaging.

Crappy sales pitches aren’t gone. They’ve just moved from your voicemail…to your InMail.

If you’re trying to connect with prospects or generate leads on LinkedIn, let’s discuss what you should and shouldn’t do. And what better way than to look at some real-life examples, both good and bad?

Bring on the roast.


“Hey, Danny! Thanks for connecting with me!”

That one almost got me! It took me a few glances to realize that I hadn’t connected with them– but they almost guilted me into reaching out to double-check or apologize! Sneaky rascals…

“We are an integrated collective of designers, artists, and storytellers delivering a show-stopping experience of producing content with creativity and innovation. See you around on LinkedIn!”

“Hey, Danny! I’m an SDR leader at Outreach and saw that you are connected to some of the same people! Would love to connect. Perhaps our paths will cross in the future.”

Me, me me! This is what I do! I barely even bothered to look at your name before copying this message and hitting ‘send’!

“Hi, Danny! It would be an honor to connect with you today!”

“Hey, Danny! Came across your LinkedIn profile and would like to add you to my network.”

“Hey, Danny! Even though we don’t know each other, we both seem to be involved in complimentary businesses so I’m hoping you’re open to connecting.”

Why? What business are you in?

Do you even know what business I’m in? At least point out some sort of common ground between us…

“Hello, Danny! I saw we had some mutual connections and thought I would reach out. If you’re open to it, let’s connect.”

“Hey, Danny! Looks like we have some mutual connections and both leaders in our small business. Would love to connect with you.”

First of all, not all of these senders did have mutual connections with me. And second of all, mutual connections do not mutual interests make.

“Hey, Danny! I saw your profile and was impressed…and I thought that it made sense to connect. Looking forward to seeing your success!”

“Hey, Danny! I saw your profile and was impressed and thought it made sense to connect.”

So you ‘read my profile’ and ‘were impressed,’ eh? Tell me, what impressed you the most?

Was it my side hustle of iguana farming?

Or was it my hard-nosed political stances on the travesty that is Canadian bacon?

Or did you even read far enough to notice that these are trick questions because neither is listed on my profile at all?

“Hey, Danny! I was doing a little researched and noticed you are Owner at Optimum Productions. I like what you doing and would love to hear more about it. Would love to connect.”

Great use of grammatical errors there.

Have you noticed anything?

These messages are all basically the same annoying, vague thing.

I could still tell these people likely hadn’t read my profile whatsoever, except to copy my first name (or my job) into their message.

Recipients of these types of messages (including myself) can tell they’re merely half-measures. The senders are talking only about themselves, in non-specific terms.

Not only that, but they’re sales pitches…which means, at the end of the day, I know responding is going to cost me something.

“Hey Danny, let’s connect! I do 45-minute business turnarounds, finding the owner $10,000 or more without spending an extra dime on ads and marketing. It’s called a 10k challenge. If you’d like me to perform one for your biz, set a time now.”

Well, that is interesting and relevant at least…but I notice you strategically left out what this might cost me.

We recipients are reading these messages and always waiting for ‘the catch.’

So what’s the con? What are you trying to sell me with no precedent or relevancy whatsoever?

“Hey, Danny. Hope you’re doing well. I wanted to connect with you and see if you’re open to a brief call soon. Our firm specializes in business evaluation, risk management, succession preparation, and tax advantage exit/retirement strategies for other businesses owners like you. Thanks!”

For heaven’s sake.

Even if I were to connect and respond, I can tell you what the next message would be. They’d request a meeting or a phone call…to which I pose the question: what could we possibly have to meet about? We know next to nothing about each other!


Even though the ‘spray and pray’ method feels easiest, it’s not the most effective. You actually need to put effort into each individual message.

Be. More. Specific.

If I, a podcast host and digital video marketer, want to send an InMail message to a Nasa Astronaut…I had better make that message relevant to them.

I had better point out how or why being a guest on my podcast would be great publicity– or where Nasa (specifically Nasa) is lacking in their digital marketing. Otherwise, I highly doubt they’d even glance twice at my message.

This is also where content offers come in handy.

“Hey, Danny. Do you know if you’re prepared for retirement? If not, you aren’t alone. Reply ‘yes’ to get my free Retirement Readiness Checklist that will help you navigate both personal and professional changes associated with this major life transition.”

You know what that message did? It asked me a question, which made me pause to think (and therefore engage).

It focused on me first, and my problems; and it provided a valuable step towards finding a solution. For free!

‘Well gee, Danny, that’s awfully selfish of you,’ you might say. Well, the sad truth of the matter is that buyers are selfish.

You need to provide value and prove that you’re actually helpful in order to earn someone’s attention.

We always quote Gary Vaynerchuck on this, and we’re doing our best to practice what we preach, too.

Remember that Industrial Insights Report we announced a few weeks ago? It’s 56 pages of data from over 150 manufacturers about their sales and marketing tactics, and we’ve been giving it away everywhere. For free.

When prospecting on LinkedIn (or reaching out across frankly any platform nowadays), find a content offer that might be relevant to that single, individual person specifically.

Try including the question, “Would it be helpful if I sent you this free asset?”

If you know of a blog article or an offer even by another company, send them in the direction of solutions to their problems. Don’t just drag them towards your own products.

When the time comes, if you’ve been the knowledgable and helpful person with all the answers for them…then they will come to you when they are finally ready to buy.


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