New Business – why it’s good to talk.

by rob

Does anyone else of a certain age have a nostalgic affection for TV adverts from the 80s and 90s?

For someone like me, who has been “39” for the last 11 birthdays, I do miss some of the classic ads of yesteryear.

The days before people had mass access to the internet, streaming services and a saturation of advertising through digital mediums meant that a lot more people were watching far fewer channels (I remember when Channel 4 launched, nevermind that young upstart Channel 5). Airtime was expensive to buy, audience viewing figures were very high and brands needed to be on top of their game to engage people, because you didn’t want them leaving the room to make a cup of tea when you were trying to sell your product!

One campaign that popped into my mind the other day was the BT Friends and Family series, probably from the early to mid-nineties. This wasn’t because it was one of the greatest adverts of its time (it was certainly never going to top the Carling Black Label Dambusters masterpiece), but because it had Bob Hoskins delivering the line “It’s good to talk.” A great actor with a very simple message completely relevant to the brand.

So, what’s any of the above got to do with business development in 2024?

Some people may be surprised that calling up and speaking to people to generate new business is still “a thing.” Didn’t most people move to digital channels and shouldn’t the use of the phone as a medium for lead generation be consigned to a time capsule along with all those iconic adverts?

No… and here’s why.

A truly good salesperson knows that the earpiece is equally, if not more, important than the mouthpiece when canvassing a prospective buyer. There is no “live” earpiece on an email.

Realtime communication means immediate interaction so many issues can be addressed on the spot.

A phone conversation can help with many situations where context is required – it allows instant clarification when required and tone of voice can really help with the message you want to put across. On the same subject, emotions can be expressed and handled in a way that may not be possible over email.

It will often be a far quicker way of problem solving as the two people involved exchange ideas dynamically. Likewise, complex verbal discussions where multiple points are touched upon from many different angles are more efficiently conveyed over the phone.

Finally – and most critical of all – using the phone allows you to build rapport and a personal connection far quicker than written communication. We are adamant believers that people buy from people and the phone is the first step in this process, building trust in a business relationship.

So, Bob Hoskins may have said it 30 years ago, but it still rings true today… It’s good to talk.