Whether online or offline, manners make a difference. I like to call internet etiquette, “netiquette”.
A habit I learned a long time ago that has served me very well through the years is starting phone conversations with, “Hi John, it’s Kev. Do you have a quick minute or is this a bad time?”
There are very few people who start conversations like this. It’s a huge show of respect to the person whom you’re calling.
Make sure you’re doing the same thing online. Because I often have Facebook running in the background on my computer, people pop up in the chat box all the time and often just launch into conversations.
And sometimes they’re people I don’t know well at all that start conversations with sales pitches. Yikes.
Remember that most people are quite busy. Approach them politely and be respectful of their time. I guarantee you the outcome of your conversation will turn out better when you do.