LinkedIn Outreach – How Not to Reply to a Warm Lead

By: Jack Reamer |
 April 21, 2022 |

Many articles on the internet discuss how to create the perfect cold outreach campaign (whether it’s via Linkedin or cold email). 

But the problem is that many articles DON’T discuss the importance of following up with your prospects or how to do it the right way.

Even if you’ve constructed the best ultra-targeted lead generation list, written personalized connection requests, and used expert copy, if you follow up in the wrong way, you’re going to hit a barrier. 

Another mistake that many founders or sales teams make is that they do all the hard work, and then allow a junior level person to follow up on the leads, and they don’t know how to do it the right way. 

It’s easy to reply when someone doesn’t respond, or when they are super keen to buy your service…

BUT how should you reply to lukewarm leads? These potential customers need a little push in the right way in order for you to get the sale.

This is an important skill to learn in any sales outreach

So this article is for those who know how to create the perfect Linkedin outreach campaigns but are still not getting the results they would like. 

Even if you’re getting a few lukewarm leads and they aren’t buying, it can be frustrating not knowing how to get them to convert. 

By knowing how NOT to follow up, you will get greater response rates

(Interested in a free 15-minute consultation? Go here )

Let’s dive in…

Why is it important to pay attention to lukewarm leads?

It’s pretty simple… If you screw this up, the hard work that you put into your campaigns will have been wasted, and at the very least it means that you could have missed out on the opportunity for sales down the road. 

The do’s and don’ts of Linkedin prospecting

1. You should not give up after 1 follow-up

One thing that we have noticed, is how easy it is to revert to bad habits once you get that first reply (or lukewarm lead.)

And some sales reps give up on replying after 1 follow-up.

In fact, you should not give up on your follow-up efforts with a lukewarm lead (or someone who was interested) until they respond to your Linkedin outreach message.

CEOs and founders, if you have a newly hired salesperson and you asked them how many times have they followed up with a warm lead and they can’t answer you, it’s time to find someone else to do the job. 

It’s a clear trait for a BDR that makes you money, and for a BDR that needs to find another profession.

Your BDR or SDR has to follow up, if they give up easily, then unfortunately they might not be cut out for sales. 

Great follow-ups are some of the biggest reasons for high-quality results. 

You have to be ruthless with follow-ups

Clients have come to us and have said “Well Jack, I think we followed up once or twice with these leads, and the conversation turned a little sour when the BDR was brought on…”

And our response was “You have to keep following up with those who show a bit of interest. You can’t stop.”

(At Salesbread we suggest following up 3 times if a client has not responded to your Linkedin message, but if someone has replied favorably, keep in contact with the potential lead until you can book a demo call with them.)

2. You should not overwhelm your prospects with tons of follow-ups all at once.

If you think about it, we spend a lot of time trying to craft a cold outreach campaign, which includes follow-ups.

Normally, follow-ups should have different value propositions, which will entice the prospect to book a sales call. And you might have 5 or 6 follow-ups in the sequence that you would like to send to interested leads. 

The point is though, that you should always have a different value add in your messages.

The pitfall is when a lead replies and is slightly interested and wants to know more; the BDR or the SDR replies and sees this as an opportunity to reply and pack in all his follow-ups and bunch it into one email, or 1 Linkedin message

You might get “spammy” and send a message that lists all of the reasons why a lead should buy from you, and this is a huge mistake. DO NOT DO THIS.

There is a reason why you should have one value add or one interesting thing in your outreach message. Because if there is too much going on in one message, you overwhelm the email or Linkedin user and you are going to lose that person.


Let’s say you get a reply in your Inmail that says : 

(Note this can apply for cold email outreach and normal Linkedin messaging campaigns.)

So, the question is, how should you reply to a message, like the one above, without overwhelming the prospect?

The first thing that you have to do is think about what would be the most interesting thing for the lead to know about your product or service. 

Target just one thing, and then say that there are a few other positives. Always ask to hop on a quick call to discuss the rest of the product offer. 

Do not explain all the positives of your product or service in 1 email or Linkedin message

You could say something along the lines of:

  • “A lot of people in your situation have these problems, my product/service solves XYZ.”
  • “Do you have this problem? Are you the right person to talk to about XYZ?”
  • “If Xyz is your problem, our product/service solves …..Can we do a quick call next week at …”

Remember, if a warm lead is interested, you need to guide them and let them know what happens next.

It’s like saying “Ok, so you’re interested, here is my calendar, Let’s hop on a quick call.”

Dig deeper and let the lead tell you what their problems are. One-on-one conversations are still a great tactic for b2b marketers. This also helps in the sense that you don’t need to get your marketing team to write a long 1 pager that no one wants to read.

Be actionable in your follow-up messages. You could even mention, “if you have some questions about our product or service, list them here, before our call.” 

Don’t be a passive salesperson because if you say something like: “If you’re interested…” a prospect or a warm lead isn’t going to want to know more. You’re giving them an option to not commit. 

The worst thing you can do is send the lead a pdf and say “let me know…” 

Because they will never respond to that and you will never know.

Pro Tip: If you are selling something straightforward, perhaps in the lower price bracket, you could just use one sentence. 

You could say something like: “In short, our product does XYZ…and solves this pain point; is there anything in particular that you are looking to find out at this stage?”

If you take as much work off of the prospect’s plate as possible, they will be more likely to move on to the next step.

You could even offer to record a video before you hop on a sales call and tell them to just reply with the one question that they are looking for. 

Make it really easy for the prospect to respond, you don’t even have to ask for the call right away.

Your first message might lead to another follow-up, especially if they don’t reply right away.

Here is a simple template that you can rework to create a personalized message:

3. Don’t send the same follow-ups to every lead

Don’t send the same email over and over again to prospects. 

As we mentioned above, add a new benefit and a new call to action in each follow-up

(Here are some CTA’s that you can use.)

Personalization is also really important; Whether you are sending Linkedin connection requestsInmail messages, or even emails, always add personalization to your messages. 

How do you do this? 

By researching the lead. You can simply use Linkedin and have a look at the prospect’s Linkedin profile, to find some extra info on them.

This will usually give you an indication of how you can add personalization.

Look at the examples below: 

In your follow-up you could say:

“Hey, Simonn. By the way, I loved reading your interview with topbusinesswomen, especially the part about XYZ…Let’s hope on a quick call here (calendar link) I’d be happy to answer all of your questions.” 

Find some common ground with the prospect, or something to compliment them on. This will get their attention when writing your replies.

4. What should you do with prospects who are interested, but don’t reply to your CTA? – Don’t assume they are no longer interested.

Say now you have created the perfect Linkedin outreach strategy and have written great follow-ups.

Your prospect responds and says that they are interested; You then send them a reply with how to book a call and they just don’t book the call. 

What do you do?

You could say something along the lines of: 

  • “Hey, I’m pumped for our call, when you get a chance, here’s my calendar link, in case it didn’t show up in my last message..” 

If they still don’t reply, you could send them another message the next day saying: 

  • “Hey, I still have Thursday and Friday available. Should I book anything for us? Or if you have a calendar link, feel free to send it my way..”

And if you still don’t get a reply, send a message the following week:

  • “Hey, I still haven’t heard from you, I hope everything is still okay?”

You can even send another message and ask if the service is still no longer a priority?

Always assume that the prospect just hasn’t had a chance to respond. Don’t assume that they are not interested. 

Sneaky Tip: 

If you send a Google calendar invite, it will say “pending” until you accept. Right? 

But say now a prospect is ghosting you, YOU can go onto your Calendly, put in the prospect’s information. Name, email, phone number

And you can pick a time (note that this is after a couple of tries to book a call) and book the meeting as if you are the prospect. (So you will book the meeting for them.) 

If you do this, it will automatically say “Yes I’m attending” on the prospect’s behalf. 

Yes, this is sneaky, but if you are trying to get someone’s attention, you can do this, as it will show up on their calendar and remind them of a meeting with you. 

But we only suggest this for leads who said yes to a meeting but who never booked an actual meeting.

If the prospect can make the meeting, they will stick to it, if not then it might just remind them to get back to you.

5. Remember the golden rule – Be nice.

Let’s say that you have emailed a prospect, and they mention who the right person is to reach out to at a company.

You can then CC the person who referred you, into the email, and thank them for putting you in touch with the right person to speak to. 

If sales is in your blood, you’re going to have to be “aggressive” but in a nice way. You don’t have to be an A$%*&! about it. Send follow-ups, like you would want to receive. 

Remember the golden rule. 

Think about how you would like someone to reach out to you.

Referrals are really powerful if you know how to use them the right way.

6. Use a multi-channel approach to your outreach

You have to use more than one outreach channel. 

If you are having a hard time getting someone to reply to your email, try to see if they have a phone number listed, and send them a text. Or give them a quick call.

If you have reached out to them through social media, like Linkedin, Instagram, or Twitter and they aren’t responding, send an email.

The point is to try to reach out to the prospect on a channel that they frequently use. So, if you aren’t having any success on one channel, try a different one. 

Remember, warm leads are worth your while and your perseverance

They said that they are interested, so keep trying different outreach methods until you get that sales call. 

If you only use one outreach channel, you’re making a mistake. 


Because perhaps the prospect doesn’t look at their Linkedin account.

You could be missing out on a sale just because you aren’t trying another method of outreach. 

7. Don’t use Linkedin automation tools for the entire process

Some salespeople make the mistake of automating everything. Some automation is okay, but make sure that you have a real human respond to an interested lead. 


Because if they ask a question, and receive an automated response, this could put them off buying from you. 

Have a look at the example below:

This is an automated message that I received on Linkedin. It made it easy for me to respond to the offer, which was great.

But the next step should be to have a real live person reach out in real-time, and start a conversation that would get me interested in their offer.  

Another option is to send the first 2 messages manually and see if the prospect replies. If they don’t after the third message, you can move them to automation.

An automated message could say something like: 

“Hey, just trying to X… How’s next week for a call?”

This hybrid approach allows you to get things going, but it also allows for a manual step that will get the b2b leads attention. 

8. What you should do if a prospect asks a lot of questions.

In some cases, a prospect might ask you a ton of questions in an email.

A junior salesperson might answer all of their questions at once, but the better option would be to answer one or two questions and then ask for a sales call to explain further.

You could even offer to record a Loom video that answers all of their questions, but it’s important to first make sure that the lead is really interested.

You wouldn’t want to waste too much time answering a ton of questions, and then not get the sale. 

This is why qualifying questions in a follow-up (like we mentioned earlier) is important. 

Does this work?

Yes. At Salesbread, this is how we work and our metrics speak for themselves. 

We guarantee 1 qualified lead per day or your money back.

Last year we managed to get close to 5000 qualified leads for our clients via Linkedin Sales Navigator, email outreach and even using SMS campaigns. 

If 45% acceptance rates and 39% reply rates, sound good to you with 1 guaranteed lead per day, be sure to contact us.

(Read some of our case studies too, for greater insights into how we work.)


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