Don’t Blast Your Sales Message to New Contacts—Try This Instead!

Don’t Blast Your Sales Message to New Contacts—Try This Instead! by Mark Bullock

{4:48 minutes to read} For the majority of professional service providers (like most of you), you should realize you cannot depend solely on your online marketing & networking efforts as your only means of marketing. Offline (in-person) professional relationships cannot be replaced by online efforts, but they can be augmented and reinforced.

Keep in mind that for the most of the professional services, referrals will come from people who know, like, and trust you—and—have met you in person, or at the least spoken with you on the phone.

For this reason alone, you need to merge your online & offline worlds by meeting with these individuals in person—especially with connections who have the most promise of bearing fruit.

What do I mean?

Let’s say you have connected with someone on LinkedIn that you previously didn’t know, but they seem like they could be a possible referral source, professional resource, or even a potential client. Please keep in mind—they really don’t know you yet, either.

So, you need to resist immediately emailing them some sort of sales pitch or promotional material (believe me, it won’t land well with most people).

Here’s what you can do:

1. Instead, take a few minutes and peruse their LinkedIn profile & their website. Look for things you may have in common and/or areas of their professional life you can identify with and/or find interesting.

2. Send them a personal email—not a LinkedIn InMail (once connected, you have access to their real email address).

3. Greet them and thank them for connecting.

4. Bring up what you found on their profile/website that you found interesting and/or have in common.

5. Mention you feel there may be synergy between you and

a. If they are not nearby, but you feel there still may be something possible if you got to know each other, ask them to chat on the phone—again to find out more about them, and explore potential synergies between you.

b. If they are geographically local to you, ask them to join you for a cup of coffee, meet you at a networking event, etc.

6. And remember: Do not pitch them in your first contact! Your only goal is to “meet with them,” so that you can explore what type of professional relationship might serve the both of you.

All of the above might take you 5 or 10 minutes, but the effort is vastly more likely to have a positive impact, put you in a positive light in their eyes, and raise the potential of future business! This is certainly well beyond only interfacing with them online and/or “pitching” them your products or services.

Irrespective of their reply, I would consider adding them to your newsletter mailing list, and mark your calendar with “what’s next” for future follow-ups with them.

Yes, “in-person,” offline relationships take time—more time than bouncing emails around, for sure. But it’s these “personal” professional relationships that will bring you the best referrals of pre-qualified leads, which are the easiest to convert to clients—each of which (that you keep in touch with) could become a great referral source for you, as well.

Let go of the numbers game. Blasting out impersonal marketing messages to new social media connections will not get you what you want. Taking an interest in them by being willing to invest a few minutes of your personal time to get to know them—before discussing how you might do business together. It will pay off far better for you in the long run.

Your blog articles, newsletters, social media postings, etc., all serve to help nurture, remind, and reinforce your “personal” professional relationships—not replace them.

What is your go-to way to build relationships with potential referral sources? Have you tried any of the activities above?

Our Love/Hate Relationship with Being Reminded


Mark Bullock
Telephone: (631) 754-0800



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