I have been having an influx of fake friend requests on Facebook.
And its getting to the point where I need to write this one out.
Yesterday, I had an invite from someone who was clearly looking to get me to buy his product. This person did not even take a moment to read my profile to see if I would even be a viable prospect. Suffice to say, I do not think I will be accepting his services anytime soon.
I do not automatically accept friend requests
Before I ever accept a friend request from a stranger (even if you are a friend of a friend), I look at your profile. I look at what you post and the kind of material you put up for public consumption.
I can tell if you are fishing for business if I only see posts that include:
1. Success or positive motivation quotes
2. Call to action posts
3. Information about your business quotes.
Look, I am not going to lie. I am in business too. I am trying to grow out my business and expand my social reach.
But there is a right and wrong way to do it.
The prospecting game has changed
The old game of getting prospects was to get as many Facebook or Linkedin contacts as possible as leads. Then you would prospect each lead to see if you can get them to buy your product or service.
But here is a news flash that I need to remind people. Social media platforms have greatly improved their privacy features.
We now have the ability to:
1. Block or mute messenger conversations
2. Still keep people as friends but unfollow their posts
3. Categorize friends into acquaintances or other special categories.
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Remember the SOCIAL in Social media.
Remember social media is a SOCIAL platform.
We rarely buy from strangers unless we gain their confidence.
Get to know someone in an authentic way. It may not lead to a sale, but it can lead to a relationship that can yield dividends later. But it all begins with an authentic relationship.
People buy from those they know, like and trust. I tell my clients that all the time. Take the time to build a relationship. Get to know them in a real way. Not some fake one that only tries to get a quick sale.
Make the right connections
Take the time to get to know someone. This goes beyond just skimming through their posts but by actually reading the content. Scan for common interests or themes.
Written words are windows to ones soul. Do they mention their business rarely, occasionally or all the time? Someone who is serious about their business will talk about their business interests actively on their social page. I am honest about my business interests on my Facebook page.
While you are looking at the profile, take a peak at their contacts. Are most of their contacts also business minded? Serious business people flock together. Do not waste your time prospecting with people who seem disinterested with business issues or view their work as a hobby.
You are not in the business of motivation. You are in the business of finding viable prospects.
You want to contact people who are hungry and ready to find solutions to their problems. You do not have the time to convince them that your solution works if they are not even expressing a pain. Your responsibility is to understand their unique problems and see if you can be of assistance.
Enhancing your connection acceptance rate
Be honest about your intentions if you want to be in their network. Do not play games. People are smart and can perceive deception. Write an introduction message to a cold contact like this:
"Hey [Insert Name],
I am really interested in getting to know you better. I know we are connected thorough [insert organization, friend or affiliation]. I see that you are interested in [fill in interest]. I am also interested in this issue. Will you accept my friend request?
If they accept your invitation do not launch straight into a call to action or sales pitch. Thank them for accepting your friend request and start to learn more about them. Comment on their posts. Engage with them.
Only invite them to learn more about your business IF they express an interest.
Remember to insert your humanity into your online posts
Do not ram your business down their throats through post after post. It gets irritating and your efforts could be futile. Facebook gives the ability to Snooze if they need a break from you.
Get to know someone in an authentic way.
It may not lead to a sale, but it can lead to a relationship that can yield dividends later.
Just remember that the next time you put out a friend request for the sole purpose of trying to solicit a sale.
How do you prospect? Is it working for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.