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10 effective ways to start a business conversation cold on social media that is sure to get a response

These are 10 ideas you can try to get a conversation started with someone you don't know but you suspect you might like to see if there is an opportunity to do business with.

    1. Ask a question

    This is a great way to start a conversation because it shows that you are interested in what they do and want to learn more about it.

    However, to pull this off effectively, the question should be contextually appropriate and probably relevant to things you suepct they care most about like...

    "Are you currently taking new customers?" or " Do you serve both commercial and residential?"

    2. Start with a curiosity hinge

    This is something that I've used in real life conversations like at a bar or social situation to get the convo started without awkwardness.

    It starts with an innocent obersvation tied to trivial knowledge and a request for a response.

    "Hey, I noticed you [x - something they can easily verify as true], did you know [relevant potentially useful or at least interesting trivial tid bit]. Can I ask, what made you decide to get that?"

    3. Genuine Compliment and a request

    Not sure where I read this but flattery works.. always. It's hard to resist a good specific compliment because people WANT to be recognized for their achievements.

    "Hey, based on all the reviewss, looks like you folks have the best customer service in the business. That's fantastic. That's the type of company we love to associate with. Is it ok to ask you folks a question about [tease specific relevant thing here]?"

    4. Helpful Tease

    Not everyone appreciates help before they've either asked for it or been asked for permission to be granted such help.

    So, instead point out something you noticed and ask them if they know about the hidden value that they might not know about.

    "Hey, I see you're using the paid version of Linkedin. Did you get the discounted version? If not, I'd be happy to share it with you. If not, no worries, but the real reason I'm reaching out is [x]"

    This might require more thinking through... just a thought.

    5. Ask for their advice

    People love giving their advice, especially when it's been sought after.

    So, try ask for it.

    "Hey, I heard you on X podcast, which was awesome. You said [x], can I ask how you might use that for [insert relevant scenario]"

    One of the easier ways I've started a conversation.

    6. Follow up to a public discussion in private

    Newsfeed discussions are public.

    DM chats, which are much more sacred, are private.

    Start the conversation in public, maybe with a post they've published or a post they've commented on, and if it makes sense, see about following up in a dm (maybe after you've sent and they've accepted the friend request].

    "Hey, appreciate your thoughts on [refer to public discussion]. There was something you said that left me qith a question. Hope it's ok to ask you about it in private?"

    7. See if they're open to a survey

    Surveys are excellent covert conversation starters.

    See if they're open to one regarding their industry.

    8. Direct Invitation Offer

    Sometimes a straight up invitation to try something that would benefit them without risk might be the most effective thing you can do.

    It's kind of the heart of the direct response marketing mantra.

    Make them an offer, see if they'll take it (but make it absolutely ok that they don't).

    Invite them to ask you a question and offer an alternative reply "If you decide you don't want it, would you mind I ask why not? Your feedback would be tremendous. Thanks."

    9. Point out a hang nail

    Something that's an obvious sore point like a bad review or some kind of bad luck or something that you m ight be able to offer some help on.

    "Hey I saw that 1 star review on Yelp, didn't seem fair to me. Did you know there are ways to remove that? I can share if you'd like. Any interest?"

    10. Ask about their take (compare / contrast)

    This one is an appropriately relevant question that asks for their take on their offer relative to competition.

    "Hey, so I see you offer [ x], can I ask how does it differ from [competition]?"

    For some this might seem a disingeuous way to start a conversation.

    I find it useful.

    Totally up to you.

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