"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

~ Physicist Niels Bohr, quoted in the Harvard Business Review ~

Telephone or Digital marketing ?

Reports are available from the USA comparing digital marketing / cold email campaigns and a host of other non telephone attempts to gain new “business to business” clients. They all have the same conclusion.

Each time it’s the same answer. Nothing beats the telephone for getting new introductions. Network events and business clubs are at a standstill now however even if they were not they will never outstrip the time honoured practice of devoting a good proportion of business time each day to calling prospects.

If in current circumstances you and your team are working from home that’s no excuse for not making calls. Not calling from your mobile phone is no longer an excuse as it was 15 years ago. 

So why aren’t more calls being made given the evidence? The reason is that few employees would choose calling up when there is something less stressful to be getting on with. This is a basic truism.

Teams need to be professionally encouraged to pick up the phone and dial a large list of prospects. You will get a tiny % of interest to mail shots and digital marketing however still, to this day, nothing has come close to the telephone with the initial results it can produce.

In the past few years I have visited many sales rooms in the UK. The ones that work have a genuine buzz to them. It’s about one third of them. The rest, to a greater or lesser extent, are as quiet as an empty church. 

People gazing at screens, emailing people they should call and filling up an encyclopaedic CRM system with useless information on people who should have been called a lot more than once.

In my world nobody should escape the phone. Directors, managers, team leaders.... BDM’s whatever you are calling yourself you know as well as I do that the compelling function is to be on the phone to open new doors and start forming adult business relationships.

Even receptionists have a significant role in sales where inbound enquiries are concerned. Many a potential deal is lost even before the person picking up the phone in your office has finished that first conversation. Usually through a lack of enthusiasm or just not knowing how to engage a caller.

The cartoon at the top of this blog should be blown up to poster size and displayed prominently in all sales rooms. It’s simply the truth of the age we live in.

You can easily test the theory. Get a well sourced list with 200 names, titles, phone numbers and email addresses. Send your spam email to each of them. So that’s one spam email to 200 prospects. Do nothing for 3 weeks and using the same list pick up the phone to the 200 names. It’s irrefutable that you will overall be more successful with the calls. 

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