The title of this blog post sounds really harsh – so let me preempt it with: I’m a HUGE fan of direct sales, I personally work 2 different businesses and will always choose to support my direct sales friends if and when I need a product that they sell, over big box stores. But here is the thing, I am a fan of Direct Sales done right. All the reasons that Direct sales has a bad name – I hate those as well, so please don’t cold message me.
Direct Sales has a very negative connotation, mention it to most people and they have a sour face and some very choice words to say. I spoke about it in my blog post Call it an MLM – It is still my Small Business. A lot of this negativity comes from the brazen pushiness that Direct Sales reps are known to have and in particular the cold messages they send. Cold messages such as the one I got at 1:32am last night.
Let’s break this down, aside for the fact that the message was sent at 1:32am, even if Natasha lived in Pacific time zone it would be 10:32pm, still very late for message to someone you don’t know at all. I’ll be the first to admit I will message people at random hours of the night. BUT they are all people I have a relationship with and know I have a crazy hectic life and catch work whenever I can. I know they don’t mind. But a cold message to someone you don’t know? That is not OK.
Moving on, Natasha had obviously found me someway or rather on IG but instead of trying to form a relationship with me by following me, liking and commenting on my posts she jumped right into a message. I have no idea who she is, she doesn’t know me and we have no relationship. Why would I want to jump into a business with someone I DON’T KNOW?
Next, Natasha asks me if I want to become an ambassador for a certain brand (I purposefully blocked out said brand’s name since this happens across the board, regardless of company) She didn’t take a moment to tell me about that company, she didn’t take a moment to ask me if I knew anything about the company, she didn’t take a moment to tell me why she loves the company and why she thinks I should join. Why would I want to jump into a business that I have NO IDEA what it is about and it appears that the one selling the opportunity is only about the money and not about the product.
This was my response to Natasha, usually I am a bit more diplomatic, but you know tired mom – and this message crossed so many lines.
So, the moral of the story is DON’T EVER COLD MESSAGE, because, ya know once you form a relationship and chat with a person it is no longer a cold message – it’s a warm one!
If you are looking to expand your network and are working on a place like Instagram or Facebook here is a few tips:
- Join the Socialite Suite.
- When you come across someone you think will be good for your brand, get to know them, like their posts, comment on their posts, but within reason, don’t be stalkerish.
- Learn their likes and dislikes, over time you will see whether your brand will be a good fit.
- Further the relationship by messaging in response to some of their content. Make sure it’s genuine. Get into a chatting relationship with them.
- Until you have a super close relationship, stick to messaging during normal hours – typical standards are 8/9pm on THEIR time zone.
- The time will come when your brand will come up. First talk how much you love it and why. Offer something of value to them, offer to send samples if possible.
- Follow up on those samples, find out if they liked the items, see if they have an interest in perhaps ordering more.
- Once they become a customer and love the brand, over time you will be able to feel out if they would be interested in joining and the right time will come broach it.
- For Gd sake, if they opt not to purchase or join – keep enjoying the relationship. It sucks to look at something retroactively and see they were just after you for money, plus there may come an opportunity that they may be interested.
See what I mean? It’s no longer a cold message! So cold messages should never be a part of your repertoire!
Happy Business Building the RIGHT way!!