LinkedIn LinkedIn Network

How can I message someone on LinkedIn I am not yet connected with?

There are a few ways you can message LinkedIn Members you are not yet connected with.

By default, LinkedIn only allows us to directly message our 1st level LinkedIn Connections. However, there are options to overcome this limitation.

  1. LinkedIn Groups – If you are in a LinkedIn Group with the LinkedIn Member you want to message, you can view them in the member list of the group and send them a message from within the Group. Read more – LinkedIn Messaging in Groups
  2. Open Networker – If the LinkedIn Member you want to message is a premium LinkedIn subscriber they may have enabled Open Profile. This allows any 2nd or 3rd level LinkedIn Member to send a free InMail message to them. Read more – LinkedIn Open Profile
  3. Mutual Connection Introduction – If you have mutual LinkedIn connections with the LinkedIn Member you want to message, you can ask a mutual connection to send a LinkedIn message or an email to introduce you to them. If the mutual connection opts to use a LinkedIn message they can create a message that is addressed to you and the LinkedIn Member. Read More – LinkedIn Introductions
  4. Premium LinkedIn InMails – This feature is only available to Premium LinkedIn Subscribers. However, InMails, used properly and written focused on the other person often can open up a new conversation. Read more – LinkedIn Inmail Tips
  5. Bump into their content – If the LinkedIn Member is active on LinkedIn, you may be able to find a piece of their content that is relevant to you which you could engage on directly.
  6. Tag them in a Company Page Comment – Where relevant and appropriate, you could tag the LinkedIn Member you want to talk with in a comment on a relevant LinkedIn Company Page post.
  7. Look for them on other Social Media – This may not work for most LinkedIn Members, however there are some who actively engage on Twitter, YouTube, Quora, Facebook Groups, their Blog, Tumblr, Reddit, etc. These other social media channels could be a way to reach the LinkedIn Member you want to contact.
  8. Go IRL – even during the Pandemic of 2020/2021 you could find the LinkedIn Member you want to message through a virtual or in real life networking event. Pay attention to what events they attend and, where relevant and appropriate, visit those networking events.
  9. Call them – I agree, cold calling is the least likely way to engage with a LinkedIn Member who does not yet know you. However, if you are able to use any of these other tactics, it may not be a cold call.
  10. Email them – As with cold calling, this may not be a possibility. It may take extra work to find out what their email address is. However, where possible, this could be another channel that could create the opportunity for a conversation.
  11. Send them a letter – I list this as an option because there are times where it could work. Again, if you have used any of the other tactics a letter may not go unopened and could result in an opportunity for a conversation. One of the challenges today is discovering where to send a letter as with the 2020/2021 pandemic ongoing, they may not get mail from the office.
  12. Message them via a LinkedIn Invite – I offer this option only as a last resort. I firmly believe LinkedIn Invites should be just for that purpose – sending an invite that is accepted. however, once you send a LinkedIn Invite, or they send you one, this opens up LinkedIn messaging for continued conversation, even if the invite is not accepted.

In sales training, we are told that it can take 7+ times touching a lead to move them into a business conversation. I don’t necessarily subscribe to this philosophy in regards to sales as I know first hand, until they have the interest and/or the need, you can try to touch them as many times as you want, however, many will not respond until they are ready.

Rather than trying to move someone into a business conversation too early, I strive to move them into a very simple and friendly human-to-human conversation. This makes the sales process longer, but the invite to meet someone new is often accepted before the invite to have a business conversation. The other person needs to develop some level of trust & respect with a stranger before they are willing to consider a business conversation. Because of this, I regularly recommend, be working on multiple prospects at all times. Seeking to move them all into that initial human-to-human conversation.


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In the past 3 months, I have saved over 20 hours of time, at a typing rate of 60 words per minute. And this does not include the amount of time I save not misspelling my website URL, email address, and dozens of other phrases I have created Text Expander snippets for.

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I have been using Text Expander since prior to 2015 and now have it on my laptop, desktop, iPad, and iPhone. I love it when I hit a snippet that saves me lots of time.

One tip I have for using Text Expander is – I write short email scripts in it and when I am messaging dozens of people with the same message all I have to do is type in the snippet, fill in their name and their company name, and the rest is automatically typed for me. I can’t imagine using copy/paste dozens of times and hoping to remember to change the name and company name text each time.

If you do a lot of keyboard work I encourage you to check out Text Expander.

BTW – this offer directly from Text Expander allows me to get you a 20% discount off the 1st year subscription.

I hope you take advantage of this really useful business tool


Reminder – I am an affiliate for Text Expander. I get compensated for sharing this message, although I am only an affiliate of products I use and totally recommend.


My Cold Calling Tips

Cold Calling is an art.

It takes time to craft your style, messaging, the right words, delivery, active listening skills and to learn how to respond to soft objections. I’m no expert, however, I have been practicing since 2005 and have gotten good at making phone calls and getting acceptable responses on my calls and voice mail messages.

I’ll share a few tips I have learned over the years that make cold calling more rewarding for me, then I will share a few tips that I use to nearly eliminate cold calling altogether.

10 Tips you can use to become better at Cold Calling

#1 – Build your list before starting your calls. You do not want to waste time looking for people to call as you are getting into the swing of doing good calls. Tip – work on similar businesses in each cold calling campaign. This helps you from having to switch between different keywords & terminology.

#2 – Set aside at least 1 hour to make your calls. It takes time to get into the groove and feel comfortable executing the calls. Turn off all notifications so you are not distracted from the task at hand.

#3 – Research – You will want to know why you are calling this person, who are they, where did they last work, what is their company about, what is it you want to talk with them about.

#4 – Apply Dale Carnegie principles – Smile, use the other person’s name, Speak in terms of their interests, make the other person feel important.

#5 – Practice – Practice saying hello, Practice bonding and rapport phrases, practice your purpose for the call statement, practice your initial question, practice your call to action request, practice using the pause to get the other person to reply, practice listening.

#6 – Practice better voice mail messages. You will want to script out the voice mail message so it’s clear, concise, compelling, and interesting. Remember to use Dale Carnegie principles.BTW – you may want 3-4 different VM scripts in case you are leaving yet another VM.

#7 – Learn to accept rejection. Cold calling is a numbers game. And it takes a bunch of calls to get to that one person who is interested in what you can do for them.

#8 – Call early in the morning and never on Friday afternoon. I have discovered, for me, if you are cold calling C-Level employees they are more likely to answer their phones early in the morning than any other time of the day. There is no reason you can’t call them at 7:30 AM.

#9 – Don’t read a script. Rather have your flow chart of discussion points. Know what you want to say if they drop a soft objection, ask a question, or say something you did not expect.

#10 – Study other cold calling tactics. There is lots of content, articles, videos, etc, on this topic.  Research different philosophies and try them out. Follow smart people who teach cold calling skills.  Experiment with the adjustments to ideas you discover.

#11 – Always be appreciative of their time, even when they say no or you have to leave a VM.

#12 – Don’t try to sell your products/services in a cold call. Instead, work to develop enough trust and rapport to get them into an open conversation where you can learn more and understand if or how what you offer may be relevant and useful to them, while you also qualify them as a prospect.

#13 – Don’t make cold calls when you are desperate. It shows in your words and in how you engage with your prospect.

My Style of Calling Prospects is a little different

I no longer cold call, ie call people who don’t know me.
I use relevant introductions and/or social engagement before I call them.

Here are few times I use to accomplish these introductions and/or for them to discover me first.

#1 – Get an Introduction – I look for a mutual connection (via LinkedIn or Facebook) and ask them to introduce me to the prospect. I’ll then connect with them on LinkedIn and review their LinkedIn Profile, again, before I call them. Developing mutual connections to your target audience requires regularly growing your LinkedIn Network with people who are relevant to your business goals.

#2 – Bump into your target audience on LinkedIn – Engage on their content. If they are active on LinkedIn I will look for their most recent content on LinkedIn that is relevant to me and I’ll comment or share the content, often @Tagging them in the comment. BTW, another way to bump into people is in real life networking. During the pandemic of 2020-2021, this is slow going, but as we recover being publicly present in the right places helps to create opportunities to bump into your target audience.

#3 – Bump into them on their other Social Media content. If they are publicly active on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, I will look for new content that is relevant to me and I’ll engage on it. When people see you are relevant to them beyond business it makes the initial calls easier.

Regardless of if I am cold calling or calling someone who knows me well. I will strive to do three things to encourage them to get into conversations with me.

#1 – Be willing to do something to help them, even if it does not result in business for you. Call it whatever you want, do this with no expectations and you’ll be more successful in your business/life.

#2 – Remember they are humans with responsibilities and challenges. We are not a priority to them until we are a priority for them. If you want to treat them as humans, don’t always call them to pitch your stuff. Call and ask about them, and ask how you could help them.

#3 – Don’t become a bother to them. Some sales leaders will say, keep calling. I prefer to limit my calls/emails to once a quarter at the most. The bigger your pipeline is, the less you’ll bother anyone of them in it.

Are you getting great results Cold Calling? Could you ramp up your game? Should you explore asking for introductions more often and minimizing your cold calling?


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Organic vs Influenced Referrals

We all want referrals.

We spent countless hours networking in real life in the hopes more people will get to know us and what we do and will refer us to others.

We invest time on social networking, sharing, and engaging on LinkedIn with the same hope, someone will see us and our content and refer us to others.

Doing these steps routinely can create what I call organic referrals.
However, organic referrals alone are never enough.

However, we need to execute another process – Creating Influenced referrals.

Influenced referrals are purposefully asking the influencers of our target audience to introduce us for a conversation.

We can’t create influenced referrals unless we are building our networks with both our target audience and their influencers.

This takes time and a constant set of activities of networking, engaging, and inviting these influencers into conversations.

These conversations must be focused on the influencers. Ask questions, listen, and learn about them, their roles, experiences, and anything else they are willing to share in order for us to get to know them better.

We also must be willing to help these influencers. Helping them in different ways is one of the tactics that create relationships with people who may be willing to help you. Maybe with a referral.

As you get to know these influencers and they get to know you more, in time you’ll uncover the opportunity to talk with these influencers and ask them if they could help you. You must ask if they are willing to do so.

Their positive reply is a statement not only to you but to them as well that they will help you, where relevant, appropriate and possible,  by introducing you to the person you want to get into a conversation with.

Once someone introduces you to your target audience it’s important that you return to the influencer and thank them for the introduction.

Organic referrals are truly fabulous things.

Influenced referrals are also fabulous things. And, you are more in control of the frequency and the results.

How often are you seeking influenced referrals?


I don’t see the value of using LinkedIn

I hear this phrase often; “I do not see the benefits of LinkedIn.”

Often they include statements like these;

  • ‘I’ve been on LinkedIn for years.’
  • ‘All of my employees are on LinkedIn.’
  • ‘We have a company page on LinkedIn.’
  • ‘I have a big network of at least 200 people.’
  • ‘I accept every invite I get.’

For those who say they do not see value using LinkedIn, I never hear about their strategy or execution.

Recently I researched two companies on LinkedIn.

The first company focused on executive staffing, primarily for B2B companies, has 10 employees on LinkedIn.

Between all of the employees, there are nearly 17,000 connections.
The company page has about 1,900 followers.

Yet, the company page has no new content focused on their target audience.
The employees have no content or public engagement with their target audience.
Most of the employee’s LinkedIn Profiles are only basic.
Some of the profiles are even less than basic.

I am sure LinkedIn is not creating value for this company.

The second company I researched is a financial services company primarily serving B2C companies.

They have 9 employees listed on LinkedIn.
They don’t have a verified LinkedIn Company Page.
Their page is one of those created by LinkedIn years ago and has no useful information available to their target audience.

The employees, including the President, VP of Operations, VP of sales, and all of the salespeople have less than basic LinkedIn Profiles. None of the employees have any content or public engagement with their target audience.

I am not surprised that the leaders of this organization feel LinkedIn is of no value to their business at all.

LinkedIn is a business tool. You can’t get value from a business tool that is not being used appropriately. These business tools require a strategy and appropriate execution within relevant business processes.

Otherwise, the value of LinkedIn will be lackluster at best.

Does your business have a strategy for using LinkedIn as a business tool?

Do your employees invest time using LinkedIn with purpose focused on the business goals?


If you want to discover better wayst for your team to use LinkedIn as a business tool, let’s talk – (336) 283-6121