The activation of carbodicarbene (CDC)-Rh(I) pincer complexes by secondary binding of metal salts is reported for the catalytic site-selective hydro-heteroarylation of dienes (up to 98% yield and >98:2 γ:α). Reactions are promoted by 5 mol % of a readily available tridentate (CDC)-Rh complex in the presence of an inexpensive lithium salt. The reaction is compatible with a variety of terminal and internal dienes and tolerant of ester, alkyl halide, and boronate ester functional groups. X-ray data and mechanistic experiments provide support for the role of the metal salts on catalyst activation and shed light on the reaction mechanism. The increased efficiency (120 to 22°C) made available by catalytic amounts of metal salts to catalysts containing C(0) donors is a significant aspect of the disclosed studies.