Why picking up the phone is making a comeback!
We’ve been hearing for years now that the phone as means of a sales tool is dead! To some degree that may be true when we think of telemarketing, overseas call centres, relentless calls from people trying to sell you something, plus ensuring that you are on the “do not call list” for every type of marketing possible. BUT we are here to let you know that the phone is making a comeback!
Communication within business is now predominantly done via email, it’s quicker, easier, can be done at all times of the day and night, and puts the “ball back in the court” of the person you are talking to. Have you ever heard yourself say, “I chased him last week” or “I followed her up with an email”? To be honest, in many cases it is a cop out!
There is no doubt that email is crucial in business, it gives you time to think, it lets you prepare the right vocabulary, it can be the response to a quick question and deliver a quick message on the fly. Or, when a longer response is required, email is great way to have all communication documented, information to refer back to, or a place where you can communicate the same message with many people. Or in many cases, it gives you a screen to hide behind when you have to confront an uncomfortable topic!
All of those benefits aside, there are times when picking up the phone and speaking to an actual human is going mean more to your sales and marketing strategy than you realise!
So, when should you make the call…?
- When You Anticipate a Lot of Questions – Calls that have a lot of questions are typically harder to handle over email, because that’s not a real-time conversation. With a phone call you can go back and forth on one question until it’s clarified, then move on to the next one. Efficiency is key, and it lowers the risk of mis-interpretation.
- When You Have to Explain Something Complicated – There is a reason why telephone support still exists. Written instructions are always helpful as a point of reference but if you’re trying to follow a series of complicated steps, or you’re simply new to what you’re doing, it is really helpful to have someone walk you through it and answer your questions as you go.
- When You’ve Taken Way Too Long to Respond – How many unread emails do you have in your inbox? If you have been meaning the reply and just haven’t got to it, pick up the phone! It will show your client you value them.
- When You Want to Apologise – the personal approach will always make the apology feel more genuine.
- When You Need to Discuss Something Personal – There are studies that show there is an overall decrease in empathy all over the world, which correlates with an increased use of technology. With an email you cannot associate emotion with what’s being said and, in many cases, get it wrong. Have you ever responded to an email in anger, only to realise the issue wasn’t really that big at all? If you had simply picked up the phone it would have been fine!
- When It’s Really Important – For anything urgent, pick up the phone! You do not want to be the unread email in the inbox!
The truth is, picking up the phone is no longer common practice in business, so imagine if you are the person that makes the call. You give your client the personal approach, you show them you care, you get the job done whilst on the call and you clarify the next steps – the job is yours! You will stand out against every other company who has sent an email that is yet to be answered.
Make the call! Don’t under estimate the power of conversation and communication to build relationships with your clients and colleagues, it might just be the reason they choose you over your competitor!
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