There are creeps online

Well… maybe not creeps but certainly people who do things that are creepy!  For instance, you probably experienced one or both of these:

  • you receive a creepy message from a stranger that says: “hey, how are you doing?”
  • you get a friend request, you accept it, and immediately get a pitch from this person

It turns you off.

You feel awkward and uncertain about what to do with it. You start to feel weird.

Don’t worry, it’s not you.

When someone sends us an impersonal, out-of-the-blue message that does not vibe well with us, we get taken aback and we do several things:

  • bark at the sender
  • ignore it
  • report it as spam
  • block them out of our circle


Because we are human.

We deserve to have our existence acknowledged and our work noticed. In other words, be charmed and treated with respect.

So if you just come right out of the park and swing your selfish (one-sided) pitch at me, my most gracious response would be to ignore you. Sometimes, when you catch me in one of my “I need a coffee moment”, I’d bark at you. Ask my close circle of friends and they’d tell you that I’ve barked at them when they did that. “WTF are you doing? Why are you treating me this way?”, are some of what you’d hear from me because I know you could do better.  And if you’ve been around me, you’d hear me say this over and over again: be human & pitch as if you know them.

Oh and by the way, if you are a friend and you know me well. Don’t go all weird on me and pretend you are not selling something to me. Come right out and tell me like a good friend.

Here are some weird, awkward examples of messages I received in the last few weeks.

1. “We are looking for empowering women like you, who want to share their stories of how they … in life, health, and in Business. Check out our group of amazing women which you definitely wish to be part of. Here’s the link which is free.”  
2. “Hi, I hope all is well. Can I send you a link to my website to see if any of the products interest you? I know you’ll love them!”  
3. “Hi Imie, I hope you are doing great. If you are in business and looking for a VA, I am your gal. I am available for a call to see if we are a fit. Here’s my calendar link….”
4. “Hi Imie, thanks for connecting. What do you do? I’d love to connect to see if what I offer might help you.”  Hmmm… we are already connected. And my business is clearly visible on my profile. 

What is wrong with these messages?

Two main faux pas in this approach

1. Self-centric. All the example messages above are self-centric. They are in it for themselves. They want something and there’s nothing in the message to suggest that there is something for me as well.  If you are reading this, and think there is something for me in that message–think again.
2. Pitching blind. None of them have done any research before they messaged me, which to me, equates to not really caring who I am. They just want to know if I’ll be interested.  Which I might be if approached correctly.

Convince me that there’s something for me, and you’ll get my attention.

But first, make an effort to know a bit about me so you can approach me in a way that will align with what I am doing or want to do.

You want me to HEAR you. Pay attention to YOU. 

And for me to do that, you must grab my attention and interest.  Not a generic, thoughtless, cut-and-paste message that is irrelevant to me.  Check what I DO. What I LIKE. And try to personalize your message so it lands well in my space and grabs my attention.  Remember AIDA?

You might say: isn’t that all about you?

Well, it is indeed!  It’s all about me. After all, you are the one initiating the conversation. You want something from the prospect and so it is about me the prospect– that is if you want their attention.

Get in front of me

Get on my radar. If you’ve never liked, commented, or made any effort to interact with me in the open space of social media (profile, pages, groups), then you haven’t earned the right to pitch me.

If you haven’t made any effort to get an idea of what I might like, then I have no inclination to spare my precious time for you. It’s nothing personal, we’re both busy people.  This is how most people see online business, selling, and marketing.

You see, the internet is FREE, and it allows us to market to the whole wide world. Just don’t make verbal vomit all over the place.  It doesn’t work.

This may sound harsh to those with faint hearts. But there are unspoken rules and etiquette in business, marketing, and sales.

Networking Faux Pas

I see these mistakes in networking as well.  People want to talk to as many people as they can and unload everything they can in such a short time and end up not making any real connection.

For instance, if you monopolize the conversation to try to impress everyone, you’ll likely not get invited again and people will avoid you.

It’s the nature of things.

I see this happen all the time.

The bottom line is this, there are business etiquettes and social etiquettes that grease our interaction and make it possible for us to interact, connect, and build deeper relationships efficiently and positively with less friction.

The Good News

That’s a lot to unload to you. But don’t despair. It’s not all bad 🙂

Something can be done about it if you are willing to show up your best, and improve your closing average.  It starts with being aware of what you are doing that is not kosher or heart-centred. And taking full ownership and committing to change it in order to serve your audience best.

Start with these:

1. Always do your homework and know your potential prospect. Minimally, you’d want to know about their business, their likes, and dislikes. It will help you get an idea of what they might be open to.  These are readily available in their profile. It also shows them that you made an effort to get to know them. If they don’t have this information on their profile, then it’s all right to message them to get more information. Like and comment on their post, so they see you are in their space. That’s your ticket to their front door.

Then when you message them with something like:

“hey, I was fascinated by your post in the group we both belong to. I am curious to know what you do. I don’t see it on your profile.”

Asking tactical questions to gather your sales intelligence will help you identify what they might like, and can then properly position yourself. Asking someone to check your website to see what they might like is like asking them to do some work for you and not giving them any compelling reason to do it.

2. Personalized your pitch with added value. Make it two-sided. Not just what’s good for you, but what’s in it for them?

Why should they check out your offer?

How will they benefit from your offer?

In lesson 6 of my Sales Masterclass, I teach the specific wording of a pitch that is full of value which you can personalize to suit your specific product or service.

You see, selling is simple if you know the steps to easily grease the conversation, and naturally, move them over to your side without compromising your personal integrity.