Using the Telephone as a Sales Tool is this Concept Outdated?

Using the telephone as a Sales Tool is this Concept Outdated? Is the telephone becoming a relic of the past?

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I recently posed a question on LinkedIn about whether it is best to use the telephone or email to connect with prospects if face to face meetings weren't practical.

And I have to be honest that I was surprised with some of the answers that I received, that I am going to precis and add my own slant to in this blog. (Thanks to all contributors to the discussion).

The consensus was that used effectively the telephone is still a great way to build relationships provided you avoid the pitfalls.

One of the pitfalls is; calling without having a compelling message, just checking in - is not a good reason to call!

Other pitfalls include; pestering a prospect, constantly leaving irrelevant messages and when connecting not listening to what the prospect is saying to you!

By using the telephone to be professionally persistent your genuine prospects will be more willing to engage with you. If used in conjunction with email you have a fast and effective back up that you can use to repeat your voice mail message, which will often ensure that you get a response to the message that you leave.

A genuine prospect will get back to you. There are two key reasons you don't hear back 1) if your prospect is not genuine or 2)you are not presenting your product in a way that pique their interest, in both of these cases your phone and your email will remain quiet!

Don't give up you can always stop calling for a few weeks and then try and re-engage at a later stage with a different more compelling message. And if that still doesn't work then you need to find our if they are genuine.

Never be afraid to qualify or disqualify a prospect. Better to work on real opportunities than chase pipe dreams.

So the good news, in my opinion, is that the telephone is still a good sales tool, its up to you to make sure you are an effective user!