I always look to read Gideon Spanier’s advertising & marketing column on a Monday in The Evening Standard, but last week, yet again, it dealt with the rise of social media and its increasing importance in the business world. Slightly disheartened with the progress in this area galloping well ahead of my understanding of it, after a few flicks of the page I hit on an article entitled:
What a breath of fresh air. When I joined Alchemis in July 2000, I feared that traditional telesales was on borrowed time. Earlier barriers such as voicemail were still there, but the internet was taking off as a marketing tool and everyone wanted to receive emails rather than actually talk. That fact still remains, but now we also contend with tweets and pokes and every article is pushing home the potential benefits of social media as a business tool (a fact that I find ironic since many companies banned Facebook due to decreased productivity at its inception). However, Alchemis has gone from strength to strength utilising the phone. The survival of our competitors and the rise of numerous start up new business agencies gives me real confidence that the phone based new business industry is a resilient one and that the phone, whilst maybe not having the potential quick reach of other mediums, is the most powerful and effective tool when selling your business, service or product.
The article quite rightly points out that when your creditors want payments they don’t send emails, they use the phone. It goes on to say that as many “retreat behind the walls of electronic communication, the advantage only grows for those ready to make phone calls”. A statement I wholeheartedly agree with.
- The phone allows you to quickly react to a person’s mood or persona – something email does not
- Email content and tone is open to damaging misinterpretation by the recipient
- “The phone is the best medium to find out things you may not have anticipated”. Absolutely!! A good telesales person will find the issue and opportunity
- As more and more people use the phone as a secondary communication tool, the cards are stacked in favour of those who have the skills to use it effectively
- You can get your point over in one clear concise message, which is not fragmented by a traffic of related emails sent hours or days apart
I do appreciate the value of new communications tools and ways of working, but I firmly believe that the humble phone will continue to play a key role for a long time yet and should remain a part of any integrated sales/marketing strategy.