I get direct messages from strangers daily on LinkedIn, and I scan them all.
How many have I replied to in the last three years?
Not a single message has convinced me it’s worth my time to reply.
Harsh? Maybe. But every conversation is a time and energy cost.
My tips for improving your cold conversations on any platform:
- If you can, find a mutual acquaintance who can introduce you. This is the best way by far.
- Learn about the person and their business before starting a conversation.
- NEVER ask for commitments in the first conversation. “When can you jump on a quick 10-minute call this week?” will get you ignored instantly.
- Be clear about who you are and what you want. e.g. if you are a hiring agency pretending to be an individual to open conversations, you will eventually get found out and ignored for life.
- It’s ok that you want something from me, and you will get points for honesty. Remember that business is about mutually beneficial relationships; show what we both might get from starting a conversation.
- I shouldn’t need to say this, but… never copy and paste the same message to multiple people. We know.
- It’s ok to follow up, but don’t be too clever. If you are following a quirky/funny script, then you will come across as desperate.
- If you get ignored, don’t push too hard or hold a grudge. We are all busy, and there might be an opportunity in the future to connect.