Has this ever happened to you:

  1. You get an invitation to connect on LinkedIn from someone you do not know.
  2. You accept the invitation because you believe in networking and growing your network.
  3. You then receive a long cold email through LinkedIn from the contact where they list out all of the things they do and what they want to sell to you.

If that sounds familiar, how do you feel when reading that email? If you are like me, you might find it a bit annoying.

Reasons why you should not do this
Here are reasons why I believe this rubs me and possibly others the wrong way:

1. I am not in shopping mode.
When I am on LinkedIn, I am most likely not actively looking to buy what the person emailing me is selling. Due to this, when they list out all of the products and features that they have to offer, it is not likely that there is going to be a response on my side anywhere close to “Yes, this is exactly what I need.”

2. This is an “all about me” approach.
Have you ever gone to lunch or dinner with someone and all they did was talk about their own stuff or life? You might have found this to be boring and might have reached a point where you weren’t really engaged and maybe even turned off. Sending a follow-up LinkedIn email like this is similar to this and can be received in the same way.

3. It is usually too long of an email and has too much information.
Most of the time, these emails are way too long going on and on about the products offered and what they do. We are all busy and it is not likely that someone is going to sit there and read all of those details. If anything, the contact might not read any of the LinkedIn email based solely on seeing a long email when first opening the message.

4. Nobody likes being sold to.
We don’t mind buying stuff. There are many instances where someone in your network has something to offer that can help you. I just connected with someone on LinkedIn and ended up subscribing to a $ 99-per-month service after I learned what they offered.

But we never enjoy being sold to. And there is a key difference between buying something and being sold to. When someone sends you this email right after connecting, the only thing they are trying to do is sell to you and that usually does not feel great.

There is a better way
Let’s face it, LinkedIn is filled with high-quality prospects for each and every one of us. And many of those prospects truly need what we have to offer. And it is a great place to meet prospects and grow your network.

But there is a right and wrong way to interact with those prospects. There are some small changes that we can make to how we write our follow-up LinkedIn email after a connection is established and here are 6 tips

1. Make the email more about them than you
Do what you can to avoid the urge to talk all about you, your company, and your products in your email to the new contact. Try to make your email more about them.

2. Focus on the pain resolved
One way to write a LinkedIn email that is more about the other person than you is to outline the problems that people in their role typically experience. More specifically, outline the challenges that you help to resolve.

If the contact has any of the challenges that you mention, you might grab their attention and pique their interest. And if they do not have any of those challenges, they are not a qualified prospect for you.

3. Focus on the value that you offer
Another way to write a LinkedIn email is to outline the value or benefits that you offer. This may sound like you are talking more about you, but in reality, benefits are improvements that take place on the prospect’s side, making these details still more about them than about you.

4. Express an interest in learning about them
Effective networking involves you learning about the people that you connect with. With that being the case, there is no better place than in a LinkedIn email to share that you would like to learn more about them and what they do.

5. Use brevity
Whatever direction you go with your email, be as brief as possible. People are busy so any email that is more than a handful of sentences will stand to be deleted without being read.

6. Focus on the right goal
When someone sends an email that lists out all of the details about their products and services, the goal of that email is to get you to buy from them. Not only is this not a good goal for all of the reasons we already outlined, but it is also not a realistic goal or the best next step for an email.

A better next step to take next that might then lead to the contact buying from you is to simply have a conversation with the new LinkedIn connection. If you agree with that, then this should become the goal of the email and there can be language around scheduling time to talk or meet if it makes sense.

An example of a follow-up LinkedIn email

Hello [Prospect First Name],

Thank you for connecting, I came across your profile because I work a lot with [insert contact’s title] and I know that they often express concerns with:

  • It being difficult to get new sales resources trained and ramped up
  • Challenging to get sales resources to ask and say the right stuff
  • Difficult to get under-performing reps to on the right track
  • Sales staff turnover is too high and costly

If you are concerned with any of those, we might be able to have a productive conversation as those are the types of challenges that we help to resolve.

Let me know if you want to put a brief conversation on the calendar. I would be very interested in learning more about what you all are doing.

Look forward to possibly talking with you.

Michael Halper


Check out SalesScripter for more sales email templates.