In this episode of the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, we’re diving into the topic of cold messaging. We’ve all been there, right? You’ve probably also realized that spammy, copy/paste messages are not going to get you the results that you want. So what’s the answer? Authenticity, genuine connections, and speaking from the heart. Listen in and learn our best tips on how to start conversations that don’t begin with “Hey Girl.”
Time based notes:
- 00:52 Introduction
- 03:03 3+3+3=3000 Formula
- 04:05 Strategies to Make New Connections
- 04:26 “Thanks for the follow.”
- 05:07 Write a Welcome Message
- 06:35 Share a Freebie
- 07:25 Reconnecting with People
- 08:00 Responding to Stories
- 09:39 Back-to-Back Conversation
- 10:11 Always End with a Question
- 10:51 How to Handle Ghosting
- 12:05 How to Follow-Up
- 13:21 Be Genuine
Connect Authentically by Avoiding “Hey, Girl” Messages
Whether it be our followers that you have not yet connected with, or some of your best customers, we are in the relationship-marketing business, and our job is to connect with our customers directly. Today is all about learning how to do so in a genuine, authentic way by avoiding messages that begin with, “Hey, girl.”
“Hey, girl” is basically a codeword for sending a cold message, a spammy message, a clear copy-paste, not authentic, not genuine message, probably to somebody that you haven’t talked to in a very long time. You might know that they’ve gotten a fairly bad rap here in the direct sales industry, but I think we’ve all been guilty of sending them at some point, right? Maybe we got some bad advice, or somebody trained us in a way that told us, “Hey, today, you’re going to send out 50 messages, and your business is going to grow.” So, in full transparency, I’ve been there before. But, I’ve learned a better way. So, if you’ve been there before, too, that’s okay. Now you’ll know how to do things better.
And, as social sellers, one of our very best tools to connect with consumers is via social media. We have an amazing opportunity to respond to stories, and comment on photos, and send direct messages, so as we’re approaching our customers in this way, we just want to make sure that we’re doing it in the very best way possible. And, what I mean by that is, you want it to come across as natural. You want it to be genuine. And, you want to feel confident that when you strike up a conversation with someone, you’re going to get a response and not be ghosted. So, I’m going to share a couple of things that I have learned along the way and some best practices from our Modern Direct Seller Academy students to help you get that conversation started. Because, I know that can feel a little intimidating.
I know many of you have been following me for a long time, and you’ve heard me talk about the 3 + 3 + 3 = 3000 formula. And essentially, what that means is, every day, my challenge to you is to build relationships. And, when you’re building relationships, a great formula to follow is to connect with three current customers, three future customers and three people that you would love to collaborate with or have on your team. So, that’s a total of nine conversations a day—not too many.
But, I know that can feel a little daunting, especially when you have a blank screen in front of you and you’re not really sure where to start. So, here are some simple conversation starters that you can use in your business to make sure that you’re striking up a conversation with your ideal client, as well as those people that you would love to partner up with in some way. Whether you’d love for them to join your team, or if you would love for them to do a partnership, collab, a joint party, a giveaway together, something fun, we need to know how to spark those conversations.
Let’s start with making new connections. These might be people that you don’t know that well. Maybe they’ve been following you, but you haven’t had a direct conversation with them. So, a couple of very, very simple strategies to start building relationships with new connections, new customers, or new teammates would be a very simple, “Thanks for the follow.” I know, right? So easy. Yet, how often do you get a “Thanks for the follow”? And, that may look different on different platforms. So, if you’re on Instagram, it’s really easy to see you have a new follower and send a quick message saying, “Thanks for the follow.” If you’re over on Facebook, maybe it’ll be a message saying, “Hey, Becky, great to connect! Thanks for adding me as a friend to your network,” right? Or, maybe if you’re hanging out over on LinkedIn, that’s a message directly to say, “It was great to connect. So happy to connect with you here on LinkedIn!” But, a very simple “thank you” message, that’s it, and that opens up that conversation.
Another option would be a welcome message. So, if you’re utilizing a community group of any sort, if you’re hanging out over on Facebook and have a VIP customer group, you can very easily create a simple welcome message for anyone that requests to join your group. Send them something like, “Hey, thanks so much for joining my community! I can’t wait to share”—fill in the blank of what you do—”with you. I’d love to learn more about you. Tell me a little bit about yourself.” Or, “What’s your biggest challenge in the kitchen?” Or, “How can I best support you as you’re on your toxic-free journey?” Right. So, you could come up with any kind of quick little welcome message to send to new members of your group, just to open up that one-on-one conversation.
Another strategy would be to share something like, “Hey, I have this amazing new cookbook of free recipes! If you’d love to get your hands on it just comment back,” right? I do that every so often about our free classes: “If you want information about the class, just comment below.” And, when people leave that comment, it basically gives me permission to open up a one-on-one conversation with them. In that case, I might say something like, “Hey, thanks so much for your interest in the free class! I’m excited to get you all the details. Here’s the link to check it out, and if you have any questions at all, please let me know.” Right? So it’s, again, opening up that conversation. So, you’re going to hear back from them, and they can let you know how things are going, and it’s the start of a great connection.
So, another option would be reconnecting with someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while. This is a great one—especially if you’re checking out people over on LinkedIn, or even on Facebook. If you see somebody who’s made a job move, or they’ve had a baby, or something big has happened in their life, just a simple reconnect, like, “Hey! Oh, my gosh, congratulations on”—whatever. “So happy for you! It’s been such a long time. How are things going?” Right? Just a simple opening conversation to reconnect with people that you maybe haven’t talked to in a while.
Another strategy that I absolutely love is the simplicity of responding to somebody’s Story. So, if you have your ideal client in mind, and you’ve been following them, and you’re thinking, “Gosh, if this person gets their hands on my product, or if they join my team, they’re just going to knock it out of the park.” We all have those people that we know would just be so, so good in this business, so in that particular case, you can very simply just respond to their Stories.
And, the biggest thing here is, it doesn’t have to be business, right? And, I should have said that from the very beginning. But, these conversations don’t have to lead with business or product. In fact, they probably shouldn’t. In most of these cases, you haven’t connected with these people for a little while, so you want to rebuild that relationship and reconnect with them before you try to sell anything.
So, when you respond to their story, it could be very simple. It could be, “Oh my gosh, that’s such a fun thing that you did this weekend!” or, “Oh, I love your outfit! Where did you get that top?” Make sure it’s genuine and authentic, but just simply responding to a Story—whether that’s on Facebook or Instagram—goes straight into their DMs and opens up a one-on-one conversation, and that is gold.
Another angle on that would be giving a compliment. And, I do this a lot if I’ve heard a guest speaker come in, or if I’ve watched a video from somebody that I really enjoy, and then I end up following them over on social. I’ll just send a quick message saying, “Hey, I was watching that thing, and it was awesome! Thank you so much for that resource, because I’m really loving it.” Right? You don’t know where it’s going to go from there, but at least there’s an opener, and you have a conversation to get started with.
Speaking of conversation, we want to make sure that when you’re having a conversation on social media, it is truly conversational. And, what I mean is that there is a back-and-forth engagement, where one person said something, and then the other person said something, so rather than sending a four-paragraph message that’s super long, where you’re maybe a little bit word-vomiting, when you’re reaching out to someone, keep it short and simple. The shorter your message, the more actionable it is.
Another tip along those lines is to end in a question. So, this feels a little clunky when you’re having conversations on social media. But, I’m talking about a question like, “Hey, would you like the link to check that out?” Or, “Can I share more with you about that?” Or, “I have an event happening on Thursday. Would you like an invite?” Ending in that question goes ahead and prompts a response from the person that you’re connecting with. It does feel a little bit weird in the beginning, when you’re ending in questions, but the more questions you ask, the more responses you get.
Now, we’re shifting gears a little bit. I know we’ve all felt that moment where we feel like we’ve been ghosted, where you send a message, and a couple of days go by, and you see that they saw the message, but you didn’t get a response. That can feel a little frustrating. But, here’s the deal: People are busy. The conversations that you’re having on social media could take three and a half minutes on the phone. But instead, as you’re connecting with new people, the conversations are taking place over multiple days, sometimes weeks, or even months, because you don’t have their full attention. They’re busy making dinner. They’re running their kids to dance practice. They’re out at a concert, and they’re messaging you while they’re in the bathroom. So, it’s super important to recognize that you’re probably not being ghosted intentionally; it’s probably just that they got a little bit busy. So, my best advice here is to make sure that you’re following up—and we talk about follow-up all the time. But here, you need to follow up knowing that it’s not intentional that didn’t get back to you, but that they just got busy, and you’re providing great customer service by doing that follow-up.
So, one thing that I love to share with people when they’re doing follow up is to say something like, “Hey, I know things are busier than ever, but I didn’t want you to think that I forgot about you.” And, that simple message puts it back on you. Like, “I didn’t want you to think that I forgot about you, so I’m checking back on the last thing that we were talking about. Were you able to check this out, or did you want an invite to that?” That’s a great way to follow up.
Another approach to that follow up is sending a quick video message, or a voice message. Then, they’re hearing your voice. It’s authentic. It’s genuine. It’s real. And, it’s a little bit harder to avoid when you hear somebody’s voice. Plus, there’s going to be that curiosity factor from them to push the “Play” button to hear what you had to say.
My last piece of advice when it comes to avoiding “Hey, girl” messages is truly just to speak from your heart. Be you. They love you. And, I know that seems a little bit weird, or a little bit odd, but genuinely, your people are going to really like you as a person. So, don’t feel like you should be copying and pasting messages that somebody else has put in a template for you. Put things into your own voice. Make sure you’re personalizing each message using that person’s name. And then, of course, show why you’re so enthusiastic about chatting with them and sharing more. When you do that, you are definitely going to get responses. You’re going to open up conversations. And, you’re going to be able to connect with people in ways that you’ve never imagined.
This episode of the Modern Direct Seller Podcast is sponsored by the Summer of Sales Bundle. This bundle equips you with everything you need right here, right now this summer to engage in active selling, drive your sales, and get that momentum going into the fall season. Make sure you act quick because this sale ends on July 20 at midnight. Check it out over at: moderndirectseller.com/summerofsales/
Take Action: What’s one step that you can take towards more genuine connections?