Why your LI requests get ignored header

Why Your LinkedIn Requests Get Ignored, and How to Fix That

23 March 2021

Everybody’s on LinkedIn, but very few people use it correctly.

The business platform is both full of great resources and full of spam — if your connection requests get rejected, you’re probably contributing to the latter.

The issue is that LinkedIn is a hybrid medium. As such, people don’t know if they should treat it like Facebook, or as a potential customer database.

The thing is, it’s not “or”, it’s “and”. 

Sure, these people are potential customers, but you need to connect with them on a personal level. And yes, it’s a social network, but you should only connect when it’s professionally relevant.

Let’s see what steps you can take to ensure your success on LinkedIn!

Maybe you’d rather have the leads come to you. That way you already have a good reason to get in touch with them. In that case, a piece of visitor tracking software like Leadfeeder will identify your website visitors for you.

Note: Leadfeeder offers a FREE 14-day trial. Sign up to give it a go.

You're too obviously trying to sell

People don't go to LinkedIn to be solicited. They go to LinkedIn to build relationships.

This is not to say that you shouldn't use LinkedIn for sales. Social selling has become common practice. And if you do it well, you're going to get fantastic results.

But if your first approach is all business, with little personalization, it won't work.

Bad LinkedIn sales intro

How to fix it?

There are 2 ways you can fix this: don't sell right away, or sell better.

Don't sell right away

Get in touch with them with a personal message, interact over time, learn about them, and provide value. When that's been going on, initiate a commercial relationship.

Sell better

You can start a commercial relationship right away if your targeting is very specific. Learn about your prospect and offer clear value — think about what you learned as an entry-level salesperson; go back to the basics.

Try something like:

Hi [first name],

I've been following your content for a while, I really liked [specific article]! I think I can help [their company] achieve [goal]. 

Your website is great but there are a couple of things you could change to achieve [goal].

Do you have 15 minutes this week so I can show you?

Let me know!

You can also use a LinkedIn invite as a follow-up on a high-quality cold email.

Try something like:

Hi [first name],

I haven't heard back from you about achieving [goal] for [their company].

I saw this article earlier that I think ties into all this: [link]

What do you think?

You can also use this to follow up on a previous conversation, in case the prospect went cold on you.

This is how Dipak from Leadfeeder (yes, this very website) persisted on me until I ended up buying from him.

LinkedIn message from Dipak Message from Dipak on Linkedin

Hard to be mad, right? Note that Dipak spaced his messages, expressed himself assertively, and always kept a casual tone. That’s why he’s the sales manager now.

It's okay to be persistent, especially if you've spoken with the prospect before. Using GIFs and memes also takes the pressure down a notch.

You’re too formal

LinkedIn is a professional network. Curse those who try turning it into Facebook. FOR REAL.

That being said, it is a social network. People take to LinkedIn to build connections and have informal conversations.

It's especially important in times when you don't get to meet people face to face as much. Or if you're used to working remotely or as a freelancer.

LinkedIn allows you to break down some barriers.

How to fix it?

See it as a real-life networking event vs. a formal business meeting.

You'll treat your counterpart with equal respect in both contexts. But with a different level of formality.

If you come off as too formal, your recipient might also see you as too salesy and not a lot of fun.

You’re in a different field and location

A lot of people try to connect with everybody who will connect with them. Either because they're trying to grow an audience fast, or because they want to seem popular.

If that's your case, it may not be the best way to do it.

Because your audience is not going to be relevant.

If your audience isn't relevant, they're not going to engage with your content. They're also not going to be good prospects for your business.

How to fix it?

Narrow it down. A small qualified audience will be a lot more valuable than a large unqualified audience.

Take the time to handpick who you connect with.

Your profile isn’t detailed enough

There are 2 reasons why having an incomplete profile will hurt you.

1. The person you try to connect with won't see the value in connecting with you.

2. Your intention won't seem sincere as you're not putting much effort into presenting yourself.

How to fix it?

Take the time to fill each section of your profile.

incomplete LinkedIn profile example

Nobody wants to connect with that guy.


Come on, upload a picture already.

But don’t upload just any picture, keep it professional.


No need to get into too much detail, but writing a few words about yourself can have a positive impact. It'll show people you're using LinkedIn for real, and it'll humanize you.


This is the most important part of your profile. Your credibility depends on your track record. So keep it updated.

Also, take advantage of the job description box to get into more detail and show your expertise.


Depending on your field, this part can be less important.

But if you're in an academic field, your alma mater will not only give you a credibility boost. It'll also help you bond with other people who have attended the same school. Or know someone who has.

See every piece of information on your profile as a tiny hook. A tiny hook that gets people's attention or sympathy.

Licenses and certifications

If applicable, it's an easy way to show off your expertise.

Skills and endorsements

Not the most used or more reliable feature in LinkedIn. Anyone can endorse you, there isn't a real verification process. It's nice to have, but not primordial by any means.

Oprah endorsements meme


Not having them doesn't damage your profile in the slightest. But if you're looking for a job, having them is a fantastic asset. And since there's a verification process, the chances of them being authentic are higher.


Good to have, never a dealbreaker.


Good to have. If you already have some, it's more about what you don't want people to see. If you're trying to sell to an environmental NGO, avoid having big oil companies in your interests.

This shouldn't take more than an hour, so just do it.

You didn’t include a personal note (or yours sucks)


Always include a note.

Of course, there are cases when it's not necessary to include one:

  • You know them personally

  • They have visited your profile first

  • It makes sense because of context (you're in the same company, same class,...)

But in general, adding people you don't know without a note is seen as spammy.

How to fix it?

Your message doesn't need to be lengthy, it needs to be specific.

Example of a bad LinkedIn introduction

If you're trying to sell something, provide as much value as possible, as we've seen in the first section.

If you're looking to form a connection with an influential person, an easy way to do it is to compliment them. 

A piece of content

Try something like:

Hi [first name],

I just read your article about [topic]. I specifically enjoyed the section about [subject] because [reasons].

Would it be okay to connect?

A round of funding

Try something like:

Hi [first name],

Congrats on the new round of funding!

I'm curious to see how [their company] will develop in the coming months.

Do you mind if we connect?

Compliments are always appreciated, and it doesn't take much time to write a short note.

In any case, personalize your approach.

You don't have any activity

It's not necessarily a dealbreaker, but the content you produce or share adds value to the relationship.

How to fix it?

Depending on how invested you are, there are a lot of things you can do to make your LinkedIn account (look) alive.


Engaging with your network is the best way to showcase yourself as a valuable connection.

React, comment, or share the content that the people in your network post.

It can be congratulating someone on a new job, giving your opinion on a subject, or simply reposting a piece of content you enjoyed.


The next step is to proactively share content with your network.

Share content you found interesting or thought-provoking. And have a discussion!


This is where you maximize your value as a potential connection. Especially as a salesperson.

It doesn’t just build credibility, authority, and trust. It also shows that you're invested and that you know what you're talking about, not just selling it.

As an authority in your industry, people are going to refer to you, and you’re going to get a lot of connection requests. 

And you're going to sell more. In fact, 92 percent of B2B customers are willing to engage with reps who have positioned themselves as industry thought leaders.

As sales expert Jack Kosakowski puts it:

“Sales is forced to become part of this digital process that only marketing was siloed to do. In the future, the two are going to have to align because even salespeople are writing content now. It’s crazy to see that marketing is not on the same page, and they’re not all using that content together in their marketing and sales process to get a buyer into a sales conversation."

Sharing insights from your own experience is usually a great starting point.

LinkedIn article example

Now’s as good a time as any to hop on the content train!

They never check LinkedIn

This one is not on you. some people (about two-thirds of all LinkedIn users) just don't check their LinkedIn account.

The good news is that you can identify those people easily:

  • Their profile is incomplete

  • They haven't had any recent activity

  • They have very few connections

If you see those signs, feel free to add them, but don't waste social selling resources on them.

How to fix it?

You can't do much to bring them to the platform.

But what you can do is try to find their email address, either by guessing it or by using a sales automation tool.

(Tech tip: combine Leadfeeder, a sales automation tool, and an email management software that doubles as a CRM to have the perfect sales starter stack)

Just like real life

Doing business on LinkedIn seems like a daunting task. And most people are clueless as to how to approach it.

But there’s no reason for that.

Connecting on LinkedIn is like connecting in real life. (Minus the social anxiety.)

You need to show genuine interest, bring value to the relationship, and show that you're invested, without being overbearing.

The informality of the platform allows you to drop by and say hi without having to be in the same location. That's why it's good. Don't waste it with an excessively formal tone.

But none of that will work without an iron-clad profile. Fill out your information, it’s the easiest part.

From there, just be yourself, share content, and be a resource. 

Your network will build itself.

Note: If you're interested in access to warm B2B leads, try Leadfeeder's 14-day free trial. That's right, FREE leads, folks.

Forster Perelsztejn
By Forster Perelsztejn

Forster Perelsztejn is in charge of marketing at Rooftop, the email management and all-in-one collaboration tool. He has spent most of his career working in SaaS and creating content for a variety of authoritative publications. When he’s not working, you can find him playing music, taking photos, and taking care of his pets. 

Connect with him on LinkedIn!

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