As businesses operate and market in increasingly technical and non-personal environments, one situation remains unchanged: People want to deal with people.
Not only do customers and prospects crave human interaction, but the value is clear for marketers. There simply is no substitute for conversation — real conversation — to gather insights, learn dispositions, and open opportunities for new discussions.
The temptation to simply “send an email” is great. I remember once, as an agency team member, asking a junior staffer to call three reporters to share some client-related news. A few hours later, I checked back to see whether we were able to get any traction with the news agencies. The junior staffer was disappointed — and somewhat surprised — to report back, “I don’t know. I emailed and haven’t heard back.”
Email is no substitute for a phone call. To be certain, email is useful and affordable, but like any marketing channel, it has specific and limited uses. You can’t hear a customer’s response on an email, you can’t read a prospect’s feelings, you can’t pick up extraneous information and insights, and you certainly can’t detect additional opportunities to make and close a sale.
Again, people want to deal with people. At TKXS, when we make this point in client meetings, we get plenty of heads nodding. Particularly in B2B marketing efforts, the value of a calling effort — by an informed and dedicated professional — can’t be overrated. Human interaction is key to making a sale. But even as B2B marketing professionals agree with the value of a calling effort, the question is: Who dials? In theory, calling is the one tactic that can significantly boost nearly any marketing effort. But in practice, everyone on your team is already working 40+ hours a week. Who has time for calling?
We do. At TKXS, we’re often tempted to say that we’ve made more successful sales calls on behalf of businesses — setting appointments, gathering data, reaching unreachable targets, upselling, and creating demand — than anyone else in the history of the world. OK. We might not have specific numbers on that. But believe this. We’ve been in the business since 2000. We know a thing or two about the proper use of the phone channel — from using dedicated, industry-specific professionals to appropriately-written call guides and scripts to delivering concrete data and analysis. We know how to work with your team to supplement — not replace — your marketing efforts. And we know how to integrate calling into a multi-channel marketing effort for the greatest ROI. And we do have specific numbers on that.
(Ironically, in searching for an image to accompany this post, I searched using the term “phone,” which yielded 200+ images. Less than 5% of these images have people using the phone to place calls, rather they are emailing/testing, holding, photographing or it is simply an image of a mobile phone.)
For more information about supplementing or building your B2B marketing efforts — or to have a real conversation about personal and impersonal communications in today’s high-tech environment — please call us at 704.342.2900.