How to Write a LinkedIn Message to a Prospect

Okay, so you have a list of prospects. You have your LinkedIn Sales Navigator open. What do you do now? Well, fret not friend, your friendly neighborhood salesman is here. In this post, I’ll try to teach you how to write a cold Linkedin message to a prospect. These lessons were hard learned after years and years of sending tens of thousands of emails and thousands of linked-in messages so you don’t have to. 

1. Keep it simple

The reality is that no one cares about your solution. I’m sorry to say it but at the moment of reaching out to your prospects, 98.999 percent of them will not care about what you’re selling or who you are. What they care about is what is important to them at the moment. For this reason, there is no need to overcomplicate your messaging. Less is more. So long as you have the right components, you can and will get results if you use it correctly. More on this to come. 

Keep The Subject Line Short and Direct

Two of my favorite subject lines to use are:

  1. Your company name + My company name + Introduction or 
  2. Your First Name + Introduction 

This is an effective subject line for two reasons, 1) it states where you’re from (by giving the company name) and 2) it states what you’re asking for, via the word introduction. Even if they don’t respond, your prospect will most likely appreciate the brevity as well as the clarity of your messaging, and the fact that you’ve allowed them to quickly make a decision about you, one way or the other. (More on this to come.)

2. Establish relevance 

After you’ve established yourself and your intention, you must establish relevance. Most of the time, you will be selling a solution that no one has heard of before. Yes, this is even true at some of your large tech providers. Therefore, there are two simple ways to establish relevance: 1) point to a similar industry for your prospects that your solution works in and 2) similar products that your prospect is using that might be similar to your solution.

Regarding similar industries, if your solution has been used by customers that are similar to the prospect you are messaging, it would be great to mention that. Likeness goes a long way with cold messaging. To say your solution helped companies just like your prospects goes a long way in building trust and credibility. Additionally, if your prospect has most likely used a competitor product similar to yours, then you should mention it. It might be helpful to compare your product to other products, in a tasteful and respectable manner of course. No competitor bashing. You can say, for example: “Our customers sometimes replace X or Y with our software solution.” Again, this is a call to likeness and to establish familiarity with your prospect. 

3. Have a clear call to action 

Once you’ve established who you are and how you’re relevant and why you matter. You next want to consider what action you’d like to ask your prospect to take. Some folks want to book meetings. Others might want an introduction. Some might want you to take some other form of a specific action. Here is where you are, again, direct and clear on your ask. If it’s an intro meeting, be very clear about how long it will take and when you’d like to have it by. The more clear you can be here, the better it is for your prospects. Certainty goes a long way in cold communications. The more clear you can be overall, the more likely you will not only get a response to your message but that it might be positive. Our prospects appreciate clarity because as humans, we appreciate our ability to be autonomous in our decision-making. The more your messaging allows your prospects to make clear decisions, the more they will appreciate you for it.

4. Consider the outcomes before you start

Every good LinkedIn message is purposeful and outcome-oriented. Your prospects will be taking time out of their busy days to read your message. This could be the first or only time you get to make an impression. Before you send that message, stop and think really hard about specifically what you would like to communicate to them. The more specific you can communicate to a prospect, the more certain you can make them about your solution. Certainty, as I learned from the fantastic sales training that I received (while at Cockroach Labs) from Clozeloop University, is a psychological principle that our prospects appreciate. One that we, as humans, even appreciate. The more certain we can make a prospect about our solution, the more clear they can be about the action we want them to take. 

So to recap, the 5 components of a good linked-in message to a prospect are 1) keep it simple 2) Direct subject lines 3) establish relevance 4) deliver a clear call to action 5) consider the outcomes before you begin. If these posts interest you or you’d like to discuss them further, feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin, or on the contact form on my website. Or drop a comment below. 

Thanks for reading and all the best!


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