LinkedIn InMail Prospecting: Get more response with this template

By Jeff Molander

linkedin inmail prospecting

Time to read: 3 minutes. The goal of LinkedIn InMail prospecting is not to get a meeting. It’s to provoke a potential buyer to ask, “can you tell me more about that?” This gets you in the game. Then you can step up to the plate and swing.

Prospects are the judge and jury of your InMail–because they have to be. However, standing out as someone who they do want to talk with is not difficult–IF you prove to them you’re not like the other crap in their inbox!

The goal of InMail prospecting is to earn the right to proceed. Nothing else.

Here is a proven way to spark prospects curiosity AND get them asking you for more details. At the end, I’ll provide a template to make it easy.

Most InMail users are asking for too much, too fast. They’re forgetting to, first, ask for the conversation to take place. Then, spark prospects’ curiosity.

LinkedIn Premium can be worth your money. But only if you have an effective, repeatable way to get buyers:

  • Affirming (“yes, I need to act on this”) or
  • Inquiring (“can you tell me more about that?”)

What does LinkedIn Premium give you, really?

Access. Nothing more, nothing less.

When you pay for LinkedIn Premium or Navigator you’re buying a faster, easier way to search (access) specific kinds of prospects. LinkedIn will also make suggestions for you—help you find potential buyers.

Making each InMail prospecting message worth your money takes an effective, repeatable message sequence process to get prospects talking with you.

Remember, all you’re really buying is access. Nothing else.

Brief, blunt & basic

Everyone on Earth scans their inbox the same way. Without exception.

    • Who is emailing me? (is this spam?)
    • What do they want?
    • How long will this take?

BUT this can be used to your advantage.

I’m going to show you how to turn this ugly reality into a shockingly refreshing approach to LinkedIn InMail prospecting. Literally. What you’ll learn will be like a breath of fresh air to your prospects. It’s THAT cool!!!

Anatomy of a failing InMail

It’s common to try and “make the most of each InMail.” I used to spend hours agonizing over each word. The results can be disappointing. But if you use the Brief, Blunt & Basic approach you’ll get better results.

Below is an example of a REAL LinkedIn InMail I received … a message that is not brief, blunt or basic and asks for too much too fast. Following this message I’ll diagnose and treat what, exactly, is killing this InMail’s chances of generating leads.

SUBJECT: Can we talk?

Hi Jeff,
My name is Steve Jones (actual name/company redacted). We haven’t spoken before; however, we share a group. I viewed your profile and I believe I can help you save time and money on your existing IT solutions!

My company, Jones Technology Services, specializes in (1) Cloud Computing, (2) Infrastructure, (3) Telecom Equipment & Services and (4) Security Projects. I have been doing this for 25 years and I have a proven track record of saving clients up to 60% on their existing solutions!! I do this through existing contractual agreements with key IT vendors. This means you will get preferred pricing AND possibly a better solution!

However, if you are not the right person who is in charge of your company’s existing IT solutions, a warm referral would be very much appreciated. Do you know who I can contact that is in charge of making decisions regarding IT?
Would you be able to provide me with their name and a phone number so I could get in touch?
I really want to thank you in advance for your helping me out here.

I would love to offer a free analysis on your company’s current solutions and provide some details on how JTS can save the company money.

I would really like to schedule a few minutes of time with the right person to speak about it.

Steve Jones

Who is emailing me?

From within my inbox I quickly conclude: I don’t know Steve … but he wants to talk.

I may already feel this is spam.

What do they want?

Once I view his message, Steve reminds me of what I already know: He doesn’t know me. Already, Steve has wasted my time.

Let’s assume I continue reading. Steve claims relevancy through a LinkedIn Group I belong to. Steve has no idea why I belong to that Group. How could he? Yet he believes this to be a strong point of relevancy. In fact, Steve just showed me he’ll do anything to start a conversation with a stranger.

Then Steve tells me what he really wants: To sell me something.

Nothing wrong with that!

But he doesn’t say it directly. He says he wants to “help me save time and money” on IT systems—a service I am clearly not in the market for. Steve is trying to make selling me IT services (that I don’t need) look like a good idea—and getting caught having NOT actually done what he said he did (qualified me as a buyer).

The goal of InMail is to earn the right to proceed. Nothing else.

How long will this take?

A really long time. I mean look at the size of this email!

I’m not saying Steve (or anyone writing emails like this) is stupid or wrong. I’m simply saying this is NOT effective. Here’s why.

Steve is going for the kill … all in 1 email. He wants me to:

  • Validate the idea: Having a discussion about his solution is what I would like to do
  • Invest time in learning about his service
  • Understand his competitive advantage
  • Refer him to the best decision-maker
  • Consider a “free analysis” (a proposal for his services)
  • Invest time on the phone with him
  • The goal of InMail is NOT to get a meeting. It’s to provoke a, “can you tell me more about that?” from a potential buyer.

This gets you in the game. Next, you step up to the plate.

What Steve should have sent me


Hi Jeff,
Is cloud computing or any other kind of outsourced IT solution on the horizon for your business? If so, may I propose a short email exchange — to decide if a serious conversation is warranted? If not, thanks for your time in considering. Please let me know what you decide, Jeff?

Steve Jones

Would you like to take part in a InMail Writing Clinic? You’ll learn more — step by step — about improving your LinkedIn InMail prospecting (or any email messaging) results.

Join me as I improve a few InMails, LIVE!

Remember, the goal of LinkedIn InMail prospecting is not to get a meeting. It’s to provoke a potential buyer to ask, “can you tell me more about that?” This gets you in the game. Next, you step up to the plate.

Photo credit: marsmet tallahassee



About your coach

Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.

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