Boost LinkedIn Connection Requests: 5x Your Requests Easily

by | May 3, 2024 | Blog, Business Guidance

Are you tired of sending out LinkedIn connection requests only to hear crickets in response?

We ran a LinkedIn Experiment where we took our Dream 100 list and tested two different ways to connect.

One approach we connected WITHOUT a message

That got an abysmal 4.9% acceptance rate.

I was SHOCKED. I thought it wouldn’t be very effective, but I didn’t think it’d be THAT bad.

Question for you: how often do you connect on LinkedIn without a message

Keep in mind of 100 people you would do this with, only 5 would be accepting your request. 

Shockingly enough, we ran another Dream 100 group where we left a PERSONALIZED message.

This group we got a 20-40% acceptance rate!

Holy cow! That is FOUR TO NINE TIMES the response! 

Side note: How much time do you waste missing opportunities to optimize your current sales process?

Tune in to this week’s episode to discover:

  • The 4 Biggest Mistakes Every Salesperson makes on LinkedIn that Kills Your Chances of Connecting: You’re shooting yourself in the foot if you’re doing these four things (and trust me majority of sales reps are).
  • 9 Ways to Humanize Your LinkedIn Request that Generated 4-9x the Response: You’ll see a myriad of examples that work, when connecting with prospects on LinkedIn. 


For the first time ever I broke down a step by step system for how to get in the door with a cold prospect.

I remember taking a personality profile test 15 years ago and my ability to cold prospect was off the charts, so much so my father sent my results to Tony Robbins to brag. 😉

This may be hard for many, but for me, it’s my superpower to get in any door and I wanted to share with you these simple-to-follow steps.

You can connect with literally ANYONE with enough pig headed discipline and determination.

Tune in to find out 9 different ways to make a great first impression on LinkedIn.


Continued Learning: The Highest Converting LinkedIn Post That Generated Sales


  • Want to know what’s keeping you from doubling your sales in the next 12 months? Take our quick QUIZ to get answers:
  • If you’d like to have a profound breakthrough in your business, schedule your breakthrough call with a LIVE expert here:
  • Claim your FREE chapter 4 from the top 10 most recommended marketing and sales books of all time! Visit: to find out how you Create 9X More Impact from every move you’re already making to win clients!


*this transcript was mostly generated by AI, please excuse any mistakes smile

Amanda Holmes: Have you ever heard of the saying, if you want to be interesting, be interested. That’s what we want to think about when connecting on LinkedIn. So you also need to flip the script. Instead of thinking, how am I going to pitch this person, you’re thinking about, find ways to acknowledge them, engage with them, show them that they’re important, show them that you’re listening.

This is where social listening is important.

Here is your daily dose of the ultimate sales machine coming to you from the new edition, visit ultimate sales machine. com to get your copy or multiple copies. I am your host, Amanda Holmes, CEO of Chet Holmes international. What you’re about to learn has assisted a quarter of a million businesses to generate billions of dollars working faster, better, smarter.

Welcome everybody to the CEO mastery show. Your host here again, Amanda Holmes. This week we’re talking about the LinkedIn experiment that we did, how we increased LinkedIn request approvals by 5 to 10x. How do we do it? I can’t wait to share.

Just thinking about this, I mean, 15 years ago, what kind of data did we have on our prospects?

We had names, emails, phone numbers, addresses. We didn’t really have much else about a prospect. Today, 71 percent of B2B decision makers are younger generations, Millennials or Gen Zers. Only 29 percent were baby boomers and Gen Xers. So we’re hitting this inflection point where a vast majority of the decision makers in the B2B landscape are younger generations that have grown up with more social media as their norm.

Hence why it’s so critical to be able to utilize social in your selling techniques. This is a topic we get a lot of buzz around on social, so I’m excited to share a little bit more about social because People who use social outsell their peers by 78 percent and it’s drastically different depending on which industry we’re training in.

Some industries look at me like, how dare you friend request your clients on Facebook? I thought that was only for personal habits, whereas other ones wouldn’t LinkedIn request. So varying differentiators in the different marketplaces, but I will tell you, Wholeheartedly, what a difference it makes, and I’m going to show you how we were able to get five to ten times more LinkedIn request approvals using this one strategy through this experiment.

Now, why is it that social can give you such a great competitive advantage? Well, if we think about what superstar salespeople have done since the beginning of time, so if you think about the seven steps to a sale as a pyramid, mediocre salesperson will spend the least amount of time building rapport, establishing the need, creating desire, right?

All of those steps, any sales trainer will tell you. The last two steps are closing the deal and following up. So they spend majority of their time trying to close that deal. Push, push, push. Versus what a superstar salesperson does, which I hear all the time. I’m not a salesperson. I build relationships.

Well, what do they mean? It means that they’re taking those seven steps and they’re flipping it upside down. So they’re spending majority of their time building rapport. So what does that mean? They know you, they like you, they trust you. So what do people choose when they’re wanting to work with somebody?

They want to work with somebody that’s similar to them. They want to work with somebody that understands them. So a superstar spends more time building that rapport. And social media is a brilliant way to be able to build rapport because people are already putting information online and they’re seeking validation.

They’re seeking likes. They’re seeking comments. They want shares, they want views, it is the nature of social media, therefore it gives every person that is trying to build a connection with their ideal prospects an opportunity to gain that trust and rapport. Now what I found interesting is that the majority of people that teach about social selling, 99 percent of them are talking about how do you post, how do you speak to the vast marketplace, Because there’s an opportunity to really hone in on a niche and grow much quicker than we’ve ever seen before.

However, what we’re missing is, as so many know, right, sales is about listening more than speaking. Right? The more that we can understand what’s going on, the more that we can evoke from them answers, the greater they are to make the decision that they need you. So, it’s the same thing with social. If you have an ideal Dream 100 prospect, somebody that’s going to spend more with you more often, they have to be that great prospect because you can’t do this with every single person that’s coming through your door.

If you have a high volume of clientele, then go ahead and go to the people that teach about posting. What I’m talking about is social gives you the platform, the content, the information on your ideal prospects. So that you can listen, validate, engage, interact, support them in all this information that they put online.

That segues me to LinkedIn. So I’m going to peel back the curtain a bit on a Dream 100 campaign that we’re running right now. So we follow a four part framework, very simple, on how to double your sales while cutting your stress in half. And 90 percent of companies fail at just these four simple steps.

And I’ll give you examples of it. So step number one, what is your goal? 51 percent of organizations do not have a clearly defined goal. So we need to know the goal of where we want to go, because whatever the end goal is, is going to drastically change the path in which you are leading. So step number two, who do you need to get to that will help you reach your goal the fastest?

60 percent of businesses do not make a profit. You’re wondering why? Because we waste so much time with clients that are either break even or losing us money. We spend so much effort on these people that are not generating the right ROI. So we have to reverse engineer and truly get clearer about how we can get to our goal faster.

That involves Dream 100 as well. Step number two, what do we need to say to get in more doors faster? And that ties into the whole 3 percent of the marketplace is in the buying that category, so what you need to do is craft a stadium pitch or education based marketing to educate those that aren’t thinking about you think that they’re not interested or definitely not interested so you can get into up to nine times more doors by education, leading with education.

Then, where do you need to say that message to deploy it to get to them the fastest with the highest ROI. So when I think about these four steps, we were in the process of doing our Dream 100. The goal is, I’m very passionate about healthcare. I would love to heal healthcare because at this very moment, our healthcare system and structure as it stands right now cannot support the baby boomer generation retiring.

We do not have enough. We’re short 250, 000 nurses over the next five years. There’s so many. I won’t go into all the details, but I’m very passionate about healing health care. So if I know that that’s part of my mission and overall goal, then who do I need to reach out to to get the most attention the fastest?

We started targeting organizations that assist within the healthcare system and outside of the healthcare system. More in the biohacking space. Then we started looking at what size businesses would assist us the best. And when we came up with a Dream 100, it was a lot of companies that are hitting that 8 figure mark that are reaching for 9 figures.

That’s a sweet spot where we just do such great work with a CEO with just pure pig headed discipline and determination to get to their tipping point. And now how do we get them to a go to market strategy that’s so repetitive and part of a system, an ultimate sales machine system, that they can reach past nine figures.

That’s where we love to play. So in our dream 100, when we started analyzing, okay, where are these hundred people? We pull the list. I had been spending a ton of time on Instagram. I love Instagram. I find that I can interact and engage with people on Instagram. Nine, only 9% of my dream clients were on Instagram.

I looked at that and went, okay, cut the budget. I don’t need to spend so much time on Instagram. 67% of my dream hundred were on LinkedIn. A platform that I’ll admit. I don’t like the user interface. I prefer Instagram, but why should I keep marketing my business on a platform where my ideal clients are not there?

Duh. But again, it comes back to the four part framework. How many times are you doing marketing in a place where your ideal prospects are not? It happens all the time. The 23 percent of our deal Dream 100, we’re on Twitter. I haven’t been on Twitter since I was on Myspace. It’s been a long time. So we had to adjust, okay?

Dream 100 is on LinkedIn and then Twitter, most. I wanted to do an experiment on LinkedIn. So I posted on my Facebook page and I just asked, Hey, what’s a message that you love to send people that helps you get a request accepted on LinkedIn? Let me share with you some of these answers. We got, Hey, when you get a sec, hit me back.

Got great news. We have another one. I enjoy when someone actually checks my profile and comments on various things in a meaningful way. This was something that I heard over and over and over again, that people love to have a personal connection. Don’t treat them as a stranger, do some homework, be sincere and authentic.

Our data shows that when you personalize even just an email, you can get a 14 percent increase in interactions. So we tried this on LinkedIn. So we did multiple different batches because someone also had said, I don’t leave a note at all because I think that I get more acceptances from LinkedIn than those that do.

So we did a batch where we friended our Dream 100, and we, well, we did a couple of different lists, so there were more than 100, but we friended them with no note. That acceptance rate is, at this time, 4. 9%. We got 4. 9 percent of them accepting our LinkedIn request. We then put a personalized message in LinkedIn, and we got between 20 to 40 percent acceptance.

That is a between five to 10 X response. Okay. So what are we doing? We’re creating a system and we’re trying to increase the percentage of how many accept our LinkedIn requests, how many book an appointment, how many from the booked appointment and get a proposal. How many from the proposal get a sale, right?

We want to do micro increases on each step of the sales process. So this is one, I’m going to give you the four biggest mistakes that sales people make when trying to connect on LinkedIn. Number one, they use the canned responses. Nothing says, I don’t care about you more than the canned response of, Hey, I see you’re in my network.

I think we should connect. The second biggest failure that salespeople make when trying to connect on LinkedIn is they are vague with no real justifiable reason for why they’re connecting. Hi, Amanda. I came across your profile and thought we could benefit from connecting. Absolutely not. That is not enticing enough.

Number three, the third biggest mistake that salespeople make when trying to connect to LinkedIn. Talking about what you do specifically, you lose 97 percent of the people that you’re reaching out to. I had one ask me recently, hi, Amanda, would you like to finance reforestation and monitor trees? What? I mean, I love trees, don’t get me wrong, but wow, talk about an obscure, strangely, even probably smaller than 3 percent of the marketplace that would be interested in that.

So we have to think stadium pitch wise, how do we get more of the people that you’re interacting with engaged and interested? Number four, the biggest mistake. I just recently got this. Blaming LinkedIn for why I should connect with you or asking permission if we could connect. It shows weakness. It’s the same as when you cold call and you say, Hey, how are you doing today?

That’s the same. Hey, what’s going on in your business? I’d love to talk about what challenges you’re having. Why would I ever give that to you if I haven’t created a relationship first? First and foremost is creating the relationship. This one woman said to me, Hi Amanda, LinkedIn suggested I connect with you, I’d like to, if that’s okay.

If you have to ask me if it’s okay, then you must not believe in the actual value that you bring to this relationship. Therefore, I’m too busy to be friends with you on LinkedIn. It’s crazy, right? So we have to reposition ourselves as a true expert, that we pair, that we’re human, right? So there’s nine ways to humanize your LinkedIn request to get four to ten times more connections.

Learn We saw it. So when you think about when you’re reaching out to prospects, you want to be the bright spot in their day. If you feel like you’re being slimy and sleazy and pushy, you are. Stop doing it. Okay, we can make this fun, engaging, entertaining, interactive. That’s a choice that you can make. I believe in you.

I’m giving you permission right now to be entertaining. So you want to engage, entertain, and invoke a response. Have you ever heard of the saying, if you want to be interesting, be interested. That’s what we want to think about when connecting on LinkedIn. So you also need to flip the script instead of thinking, how am I going to pitch this person?

You’re thinking about find ways to acknowledge them, engage with them, show them that they’re important. Show them that you’re listening. This is where social listening is important. What are the nine ways to humanize your LinkedIn request to get four to nine times more response? Let me show you. Step number one.

Compliment them. Have they had successes in their career? Have they had awards? How long have they been with the company? Here’s an example. I connected with Steve. Steve, fascinated by the fact that you worked with Quest for 20 years. That is a feat many can’t celebrate today. I also read your post about winning the President’s Club.

Congrats! Why wouldn’t Steve just accept that? It’s a compliment. It’s nice. It’s kind. Right? Step number two for humanizing your LinkedIn requests. Show knowledge of your industry. Show them that you understand what they’re going through. If you can talk about one of the posts that they’re posting about, and show, I had one that I was connecting with where I had a mutual friend in the space and I asked specifically about the events that they run and if they’re similar to another company that’s similar to theirs because I worked with that particular company.

So, I am referencing knowledge of the industry and my expertise so it shows, oh, I’m not just talking to Joe Schmo that knows nothing about it and it’s going to waste my time. Number three, ask curious questions about what they do. How do you learn more about what they do? You are being interested in them.

I, let me show you an example. So I found this gentleman whose name is Eric, and on his profile he said that he was a women’s health expert, which I just found funny that a man would be a women’s health expert, and I know from working with one client that was a natural cramp cream company, the head of that particular product was a male, and he felt very, very uncomfortable about the fact that he was a male talking about cramp cream.

So we had, we ended up building a core story for them to help him feel more knowledgeable about women. And he did become an expert after that and did feel a lot more comfortable talking about the topic because he could talk to it and gave market data and all these things. So I wrote Eric and I said, Eric, I just want to know what was it like being a women’s health expert for a year?

Also, what qualifications do you need to be a woman’s health expert? I think I need that, right? I’m just trying to crack a smile on his face. Ask a curious question. What can you do to put a smile on their face? What if that was the goal of reaching out on LinkedIn? What a completely different response that sets you apart from all these other people.

Just a sea of bots and people that don’t care. Here’s another one. So, Mary had posted about a rare disease day, which I thought was rather interesting, so I said, Hey Mary, I was just looking at your post and didn’t realize there was a rare disease day. How interesting. How do you celebrate that exactly? Do you work with rare diseases often?

I have a strong love of diseases and understanding how they work and how that connects to the mind and the body. I’ve studied a lot of Eastern medicine, so I’m curious about the topic. Can you be curious about Topics that your prospects have posted about just showing that you care, right? That’s what we’re trying to do show that we care step number four for humanizing your LinkedIn requests to get four to nine times the acceptance connection offering Humor, you don’t say what a shock right there was Jonathan Dawson when I posted on Facebook saying hey Do you have any LinkedIn requests messages that you send he wrote this one.

I love this Curiosity got the best of me, so I thought I’d reach out myself. Your name came up in a recent conversation, so I thought I’d connect because I wanted to go straight to the source. Based on what I heard, I’m tempted to believe the opposite. Are the rumors true, or is it mostly just jealous people who need to get a hobby?

I was told, you think it’s okay to eat french fries with mustard. If it’s true, then you are likely an innovator, and we should connect. If it’s not true, then we should just connect anyway to the plot. How to stop these vicious rumors. Either way, love to connect with you. After 15 seconds on my profile, let me know if you feel the same way.

That is freaking hilarious. I mean, come on. I mean, Jonathan is truly an expert at messaging. He teaches the top 1 percent of automotive salespeople. So if you are in automotive and you have salespeople, you’d be dumb not to have Jonathan come and assist you because he’s got a hundred more just like this.

He has a whole training on how to use emojis and memes. in your text messaging processes. Ah, it’s just brilliant. But anyways, that was funny, right? Engaging, entertaining. How can you be engaging and entertaining? I also saw another one on Skylee that said, Hi Amanda, how many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Just one, but the lightbulb has to really want to change. Jokes aside, I would love to connect. Silly, but entertaining. There was another one, I just saw the first line that says, I noticed we both breathe oxygen. It’s great, it’s freaking funny, come on, we just live in this monotonous world of boring messages.

Let’s make it entertaining, huh? So, number four, offer humor. The fifth step to humanize your LinkedIn requests is proximity is power. Mutual connections can be like a reverse referral. It gives you that know, like, and trust so much quicker when it’s somebody that’s valuable to you. So, I’ll give you an example.

I reached out to Nate. I saw that he was friends with Jill Carnahan, who is a brilliant doctor. And I wrote him this. Hey Nate, notice we’re both friends with Dr. Jill Carnahan. Did you see her documentary? I cried. If you haven’t seen it, you probably shouldn’t without a tissue box. Right? I’m just kidding.

What am I doing? I’m trying to establish one small link of connection, showing that I care, showing that I know the people that he knows. It’s funny how we overthink these things, and we don’t spend the time on things that matter. It’s not something you can force. Just connecting with somebody, showing you care, is the fifth step.

Number six, name drop. If you can name drop all the associates that they work with, it seems as You have just arrived. We teach this with cold calling, right? You cold call, so you get to the gatekeeper, and you call them up and you say, Is this Bill? No. Is this Delilah? No. Is this Bob? No. But you know every person’s name in the office.

Obviously, it’s not some random person. It’s obviously somebody that interacts with this office often. Another reason to get to the gatekeeper. It’s the same on LinkedIn, right? So I reached out to Leanne, Hey, Leanne, I’m guessing you just started your LinkedIn three connections. She literally had just three connections, but be happy to be the fourth.

I just connected with Robbie, Evan, Steve. I don’t know if you know other people from your team. I’m also from California because she was also from California. How can you acknowledge and. To speak to all the other decision makers, right on average today for a B2B sale, it takes nine decision makers. It is insane the amount of people that we have to get to approve a B2B purchase.

So how many of those people are you connecting with and are you using them with each other? Right? I just talked to Bill. I just talked to Bob. Right? Number six is name dropping the other decision makers in the organization. Number seven for humanizing your LinkedIn responses is locations in common. I’ll never forget, I was backpacking Europe, I flew to Europe, we were in Rome, and we randomly met another couple that were from California.

And instantaneously, this person that I had lived in California my first 18 years of my life. If I met anybody in California, we wouldn’t feel connected, but because we were in Rome, all of a sudden we became instantaneous best friends. It created that bond so quickly. So, where on their profile are their places, either their hometown, the place where they live now, the place where they went to college, what other locations can you pinpoint?

Quickly and establish that you care about that place, because if you care about that place and they are proud of that place as well, instant connection quickly, right? We’re trying to do this in a blink of under 300 characters for a LinkedIn request. So, I did one. So I also do this on Zoom calls and in sales conversations too.

I try to find where they’re from. Oh, you’re from Stamford, Connecticut? Wow, one of my favorite summers I ever spent was in Stamford, Connecticut. Have you lived there your whole life? Right? Just trying to give some kind of compliment about where they live. You’d be shocked at how quickly that builds rapport.

So the eighth way to humanize your LinkedIn requests is to just comment on their bio. What do you find intriguing about it? What would you like to comment on? I saw one where this woman’s Was an engineer and then she went into sales and I went wow Julie It’s not very often. I see somebody from an engineer that goes to sales.

How’s that going? It’s quite a leap. I’m impressed Just something to get in the door to acknowledge them You have a little bit of a brain to be able to do that Right, and then the ninth step for humanizing your LinkedIn requests is commenting on their posts If they’re posting about things, it’s obviously something that’s of interest to them, so you acknowledge what they’re posting about.

I have one here. Robby, I’m fascinated by your work in neurology. I noticed you went from technology to sales. It doesn’t happen very often. Super curious on your opinion of philocybin and neurology. Does it actually help? Because she had a whole bunch of posts about philocybin and regulations and what’s been approved in different countries.

It was a really interesting topic that I would genuinely find fascinating to discuss with somebody. Are there topics with your prospects that you would genuinely find interesting? Here’s another thing to think about. If you’re going to be human in your sales process, then genuinely find ways to be intrigued and engaged and entertained.

Look for them. Find a spark of conversation that would actually legitimately interest you. Go figure, maybe also your sales process would be a lot more fun if you found ways to entertain you as well as your prospect. So what are the 9 ways to humanize your LinkedIn response to get 4 to 9 times more connections?

  1. Compliment them on their successes, on their awards, how long they’ve been with the organization that they’re with. Two, show knowledge of their industry, their field, their job. Why not flex a little bit on what you know so you’re not treated as just a salesperson? Number three, ask curious questions.

Engage, entertain, show that you care. Number four, offer humor. What better way to get in the door than with a smile? Number five. Proximity is power. Mutual connections are like a reverse referral. It gets you in the door so much quicker. Number six. Name dropping all the other people that they work with in the organization to show that you belong.

Number seven. Locations. Do you have any locations in common? Because the more that you show that you are similar to them or that you enjoy the things they enjoy, the faster you build that rapport. Number eight, comment about their bio. What’s interesting and intriguing about their bio that you find interesting?

And number nine, commenting on their posts. We’re just enough of a spark to engage a conversation. That’s how our LinkedIn experiment went. From 4. 9 percent of our LinkedIn connections got approved with zero note. And up to 20 to 40 percent got accepted when we started personalizing these messages. Now remember, this is for your Dream 100 strategy.

This is for those that you want to spend more time on because they buy more, more often from you. So it’s specific to Dream 100, but when you know they’re a dream prospect, these are nine different ways to grab their attention, engage, and start building a relationship. Because you are 60 percent of the way to a sale if you just build rapport and find their need.

Okay, so this is just step by step on how to do that on LinkedIn. If you ever need any assistance with your Dream 100 contact campaign, you name it, you can go to howtodoublesales. com and enter in, fill out just a few questions, and we’ll let you know if we can assist you with your Dream 100. That’s how to double sales.

Make sure to get your copy or copies at the ultimate sales machine dot. There’s a lot of special bonuses that you can’t get going to Amazon. So make sure you check it out at ultimate sales machine.

Learn More

advertisement advertisement

Read More

Chet Holmes Expert Sales Advice

Chet Holmes Expert Sales Advice

This week’s episode is Chet Holmes himself. Literally 22 minutes of pure gold. I don’t care what you do or who you are, you’ll walk away amazed at how he ad libs this full sales process that completely dominates. You’ll get amped up just hearing the pig headed...

90% of Companies Get This Wrong: 4 Simple Steps to Double Sales

90% of Companies Get This Wrong: 4 Simple Steps to Double Sales

Do you know what's holding back 90% of companies from reaching their full potential? It's astounding how a simple mistake can hold back so many businesses from growing and grabbing opportunities. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We're diving into this...

3 Hotseat Sales Pitches with Feedback

3 Hotseat Sales Pitches with Feedback

Have you ever thought about what keeps your prospects engaged and glued to their seats during a presentation? Last week, we began our journey into mastering effective presentations, focusing on strategies to boost confidence, engage your audience, and enhance your...