How NOT to begin a message to a stranger

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Some people ask to connect on LinkedIn, you check to see who they are, say OK, and that’s the last you hear from them.

Others write back with a marketing message.Avoid I-itis

I won’t knock that because I haven’t tried it. There might be a good way to go about it, and it might lead to new clients. I don’t know.

What I do know is that the effort is likely to fall flat if the first words in your message are “I wanted to…”

If you’ve read my posts about writing prospecting letters, you know that I believe the #1 rule in letter writing is to NEVER begin your message with “I,” and that “I want” is almost a sure-fire way to get your message sent straight to the round file or the trash folder.

Instead, you begin your prospecting letters with a question or a statement related to their concerns.

It’s no different on LinkedIn – or any social media site.

If you want to strike up an acquaintance with someone who may become a client at some time in the future, come at it with an attitude of wanting to get acquainted.

Ask questions about their business. If you're interested in possibly becoming their client, ask more detailed questions. Even then, begin your sentence with something other than "I," because that word simply sets the wrong tone.

If what they do is obvious, mention similarities to what you do. If it isn't obvious, ask what they do. If you’ve checked their profile and see that they came from the same area, attended the same school, or have the same hobbies, talk about that.

You have no doubt heard the old adage “You don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date.” This is the same. Don’t ask someone on social media to do business with you until you’ve gotten acquainted.

This seems to me like common sense, but…

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Rainmaker
1,564,933
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Thanks Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate "Eyes," yes - "I's," no.

Melissa Spittel As much as it's mentioned, you'd think everybody would know by now.

Thanks Michele Engleman, SRES.

Feb 05, 2019 09:48 AM #41
Rainmaker
813,919
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Simple and effective advice.  We can find habits like this where we don't even realize it.  

Feb 05, 2019 09:49 AM #42
Rainmaker
1,564,933
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Diana Dahlberg Yes, getting acquainted is always a better first step.

Greg Mona I agree. "No thanks" is my reaction as well.

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! That sounds like a good plan to me.

Feb 05, 2019 09:51 AM #43
Rainmaker
1,564,933
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Lottie Kendall Thanks. That darned "I" word is definitely overused.

Thanks Scott Gleason. It IS old - and yet people still haven't learned it.

Monica Hill That's a good test to apply to any kind of marketing message or email you send.

 

Feb 05, 2019 09:54 AM #44
Rainmaker
1,564,933
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Jeff Dowler, CRS - it's pretty close to the same thing.

 

Feb 05, 2019 09:56 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,564,933
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Janna Scharf Yes, I hope we do meet one of these days. The one time you had a meet-up over there I had house guests for the week.

Fred Sweezer Sr. So true - if that first impression is a negative, it's the last one.

Amanda S. Davidson I don't spend time there either. It was fun sometimes when I got messages from groups that led to discussions like this one, but they quit doing that, and I don't go hunt for the groups.

Feb 05, 2019 10:14 AM #46
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Robert Hicks Thanks - always appreciate you stopping by!

Ron Aguilar That's an interesting take on LinkedIn. I might try it if I ever need to go shopping for help.

Kimo Jarrett We all want to believe that the action we take is our own idea - that it wasn't pushed on us by some sales person. Therein lies the secret behind successful selling.

Feb 05, 2019 10:19 AM #47
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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M.C. Dwyer Asking questions always gets you farther - unless you're dealing with my husband or my son. They don't like it at all!

Jan Green Right - not unless you want to confuse everyone!

Kevin Mackessy Why is it so easy to get into bad habits - and so much more difficult to form good ones?

Feb 05, 2019 10:28 AM #48
Ambassador
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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Oh Marte Cliff I can't tell you how many times I've connected with somebody on Linked In only to get one of 'those' messages back in reply. I quit accepting them a long time ago as it's a total waste of time. That type of person side steps the first step - build a relationship - at least get it started instead of making it about selling me something. 

Feb 05, 2019 10:50 AM #49
Rainmaker
1,564,933
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886 It kinda takes all the fun out of connecting with new people, doesn't it?

Feb 05, 2019 11:53 AM #50
Rainmaker
345,306
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Marte,

I had not really given much thought but you are spot on. When I see a social media "reach out" that begins as you stated I really do toss it immediately.

Thanks for the tip and I will use it when I try to connect. 

Feb 05, 2019 07:18 PM #51
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Dana Basiliere You have to wonder what people are thinking when they do that.

Feb 05, 2019 07:44 PM #52
Rainmaker
132,654
Peter Lavelle REALTOR®, GRI SRES, ABR
Keller Williams Real Estate - Philadelphia, PA
SOLD@100%Market Value,or I Pay You the Difference

It's never about "I"? Are you sure? (Please note the sarcasm) 

Feb 06, 2019 02:24 PM #53
Rainmaker
1,564,933
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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I'm sure - but there are those who would disagree. The family cat, for instance.

Feb 06, 2019 03:24 PM #54
Rainer
474,655
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

I get those  frequently.  You are correct.  Some get tossed aside.  Congrats on the feature.

Feb 08, 2019 07:36 AM #55
Rainmaker
1,564,933
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Rose Mary Justice The practice has become so common that lately I've been ignoring most of the requests to connect - especially if the people are in other countries or professions having nothing to do with real estate.

Feb 08, 2019 09:49 AM #56
Rainmaker
1,557,604
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Boy I agree as every accepted request ends up with a sales pitch even though the other person knows nothing about you. Worse yet, starting that pitch with the dreaded 'I'.

Feb 08, 2019 01:57 PM #57
Rainmaker
1,564,933
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Lyn Sims What are they thinking? Whatever it is, they're not thinking clearly.

Feb 08, 2019 03:01 PM #58
Rainmaker
322,160
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty - Arlington, VA
32 years of providing fully satisfying service!

Great reminder; thanks for sharing your insights!

Mar 23, 2019 11:58 AM #59
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Dave Rosenmarkle.

Mar 23, 2019 12:08 PM #61
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