I want to talk about cold call­ing today. Par­tic­u­lar­ly, I want to talk about cold call­ing on LinkedIn and one thing to avoid when doing it.

(Although, I guess if you’re not actu­al­ly call­ing some­one (or, phon­ing, as we say here in Cana­da), it’s prob­a­bly not tech­ni­cal­ly cold call­ing.)

I reg­u­lar­ly receive cold calls in LinkedIn Mes­sag­ing. I send them out myself some­times, often in response to a new con­tact request. But there’s one thing I don’t like that some peo­ple do when cold call­ing:

Not cus­tomiz­ing your cold call­ing intro

Here, let me give you two recent exam­ples:

On the sur­face, these mes­sages seem inno­cent enough (oth­er than the open­ing lines seem hol­low and cook­iecut­ter­ish), but there’s one fatal flaw. Both of them are tar­get­ing me with ser­vices that my busi­ness is built on.

Hot Pep­per Com­mu­ni­ca­tions spe­cial­izes in writ­ing, edit­ing, and social media mar­ket­ing. These mes­sages tell me that nei­ther sender put in the research need­ed to cus­tomize their mes­sage for their intend­ed tar­get.

And if they’re going to use a shot­gun, one-size-fits-all approach for their own mar­ket­ing, how do I know they won’t use a gener­ic approach to work they do for my com­pa­ny? I can’t afford to take that risk. Plus, if you con­tact a copy­ed­i­tor to pro­vide ser­vices on their behalf, you should at least get cap­i­tal­iza­tion and punc­tu­a­tion right.

So I polite­ly declined.

If you’re going to cold call, do the research. Show the recip­i­ent that you’re will­ing to put in the time and the work to craft a unique mes­sage, that you under­stand what their needs are, and that you know spe­cif­ic ways to address those needs. Sure it takes more time and effort, but it means more.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing and social media tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness. Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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