How best to contact someone new

I came across a question on Inbound.org, a great inbound marketing site, asking about the best way to contact someone new? Aleksandra asked for some feedback:

I was just wondering which channel you guys mostly use when it comes to contacting someone new? For business matters, of course 🙂

Is there any difference for you whether this person is an opinion leader/influencer or not. Maybe you have an unusual approach/tactics you want to share.

Just to make it more precise, let’s imagine you need to ask someone for advice/opinion, etc.

I’ve thought about this often, especially when I had a small business I was trying to grow. People commenting on the question outlined when they’d use Twitter, LinkedIn, email and phone calls to contact someone new but I have a different approach I thought I’d share here too.

How I prefer to contact someone new

I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all approach here. I think it very much depends on the person you want to reach. Some people are pretty active on particular platforms and you’d pick those platforms to reach out to them. Understanding which platforms those people are most active in is probably also a really good way to get to know them better and signal to them that you have made an effort to connect more meaningfully.

We’ve found that Twitter is a great way to reach out to some media people, for example, just @-mentioning them. Some people even accept direct messages on Twitter so that is an option too. Email is a standard way to connect to people but it can be a very bland medium. LinkedIn is great, in theory, but I only use it if I know the person is an active LinkedIn user. Otherwise, you may receive a message months later with an apology explaining that the person barely looks at LinkedIn.

I think phone calls can be one of the most effective ways of reaching out to people. I usually send a WhatsApp message to someone with a brief introduction and asking when I can call to discuss the issue with the person. We get so caught up with digital and social that we forget just how meaningful a phone call can be. Sure, there are people who find phone calls to be very invasive or disruptive but that is why I start with a message first.

What do you think? What works best for you?

Image credit: Pexels

Paul
Enthusiast, marketing strategist, writer, and photographer. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad. Allergic to stupid

1 Comment

  1. I agree, you should adjust your approach depending on who you’re reaching out too. Getting to know them first, via their preferred social network or reading their blog, can give you an idea of what they might prefer.

    I tend to prefer being contacted via asynchronous methods for first contact. We could always switch to something realtime should the need arise.

    I have also found networking events and conferences to be great for first time introductions and getting to know someone new.

What do you think?

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