I recently accepted 64 outstanding connections on LinkedIn. Within minutes I had 18 incoming pitches. Eighteen!

Remote working has people desperate for sales, but, in the words of our friend Larry Levine, your buyer can smell “commission breath” — even virtually!

For many folks, things are tough right now. We get it. But this “cold ” reach out without creating curiosity, or first adding any value, just doesn’t work.

LinkedIn is an online networking tool. Imagine you are in a business card exchange, someone walks up to you, hands them their business card, and starts with… “We help businesses just like yours, blah blah blah blabbity blah.” You will tune them out and will find any excuse to leave the conversation. However, if your new networking friend engages in a friendly and personal conversation, you are sticking around for a while.

Many of my LinkedIn friends have been asking me what can they say to start a real conversation on LinkedIn, so I thought I’d share some ideas. But before I do, I want to say that every single message should be tailored to each person. The following is meant to be a guide to shift your approach, not a copy and paste.  

[NAME], thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I connected with you because I saw you engaged with [ABC]’s content published by [XYZ]. I love her content. Do you subscribe to the podcast?


[NAME], thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I connected with you because I came across a great article that highlighted the work your company has done throughout the pandemic and was very impressed. Often we miss our own press, so I thought I’d send the link: [LINK]! What other initiatives are you guys working in?


[NAME], thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn. The reason I connected with you is that I liked the post you shared about [TOPIC]. I am not sure if [YOUR TOPIC] is also of interest, but we have an upcoming webinar on it and would love to invite you as my guest. If you are interested, let me know, and I’ll send you a link.


[NAME], thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I connected with you because I recently published a poll on [TOPIC] and would love your input: [LINK].


[NAME], Thanks for connecting with me on Linkedin. I noticed you engage in content around [TOPIC.] We recently published a blog post [TITLE]. It covered [TAKEAWAY 1], [TAKEAWAY 2], and [TAKEAWAY 3]. Let me know if this would be of interest to you. I’d be happy to share a link with you.

These approaches certainly involve a longer outreach process, but they do provide a significantly shorter time to the outcome! In essence, connect with fewer people on LinkedIn so you can connect with more of them in person (or on Zoom)!