Water, Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink

For today’s post I want to look at cold LinkedIn pitches. I have run several client’s LinkedIn profiles for them and some of the messaging I have seen is beyond ridiculous. Other messages look fine but don’t elicit a response from my clients. (Sorry if you thought you were actually talking to one of my clients and it was actually me.)

I am not going to use this post to go over the basics of profile building or connecting since there are plenty of articles on this. If you want to learn the ins and outs I am happy to connect you to some additional resources.

I am going to share three examples of pitches that from the surface look okay and why they’re not ideal. I see many variations of these same themes over and over – obviously there is some bad information out there that had been spread around.

Note names have been changed to protect all parties, companies are redacted and links are changed to a generic link type so that there are no identifying company details. (Don’t @ me for putting people on blast — that is not the point of this post)

Example 1:

Hey Sally ,

I saw your profile and like what you’re doing. Pretty impressive.

I am the Founder of Blah Blah Marketing Company , we help consultants (whatever industry) like you bring in a steady flow of clients consistently. The best part, we are completely free if we are not able to bring in your leads.

We guarantee at least 20 leads in 30 days and I honestly think that your business will be able to take advantage of those leads and grow immensely. Grab an available time in my calendar and let’s discuss further. Say, this coming week? Here’s my calendar link: https://calendly.com/vanitylink 

Thanks, Jim

Why this approach is less than ideal:  While the pitch starts with a complement it could be much more specific. If Jim had actually done any research on Sally or her company he could have opened with a congratulations on a milestone, a comment on a recent article or podcast episode or something more specific to her business. Sally is also not a consultant, while she is in a business that relies on clients, she does not provide consulting services. Again, shows me that Jim hasn’t done any research and is copying and pasting his business pitch. Third, without knowing Sally’s industry, audience, pricing and goals how can Jim guarantee her 20 leads in 30 days? Now I am just skeptical and not planning to engage with Jim further. Personally, I hate when people I don’t know drop me an unsolicited Calendly link to book a call with them. If you disagree with me feel free to let me know in the comments!

Example 2:

Hi Vanessa,

I’ve passed by your profile a few times and I’m curious to see if I could help you grow your business by getting published on major online sites such as Entrepreneur.com or Inc.com? I’d love to schedule a quick call if you’re open to it. I have some openings next week.



Why this approach is less than ideal: While this message doesn’t necessarily look bad, my client Vanessa has been published on many leading sites and is a contributor to Forbes. The message shows me very quickly that Jen did zero research on my client and knows nothing about her needs or goals.

Example 3:

Hi Jon!

Thank you for the connect. After reviewing your profile – impressive by the way – we reached out because we are interested in speaking about your background. You may preview the opportunity and description of who we are seeking at http://www.companycareer.com If you believe you meet these requirements and foresee potential alignment, feel free to schedule an initial 5-min call to discuss potential synergies and candidate selection process. In scheduling a call, please use my personal scheduler for ease of synchronization at https://calendly.com/fakeperson.

Hope you have a great day. –


Why this is less than ideal:  Again, Dan has not done and research on Jon. Jon is an executive leadership coach. Second, the message is full of buzz words and jargon – potential alignment? synergies? I still don’t understand why Jon should book a call with Dan – and I have made certain he won’t. I see this a lot with clients who own small businesses. The other variation is recruiters looking to fill roles. Do your research! My clients have their own businesses and will not come work onsite full time for your client. It says so right in their profile.

The moral of this story is – tailor your pitch to your prospect. Ask about their goals and needs, do your research, and use plain English!

In the comments feel free to share some of the best (or worst!) you’ve ever seen!

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