At JDA.media, we’ve been discussing the book, Virtual Selling, by Jeb Blount. He’s written a powerful guide highlighting virtual selling tools such as email, voice mail, text, chat, phone, and video calls – even social media. My favorite is Chapter 19 starting on page 165, which says it all with the first five words: Pick Up The Damn Phone. (PUTDP).
Yes, in 2021, the most powerful virtual prospecting and selling tool in your sales team’s toolbox is still the telephone—if they choose to use it. Blount explains:
“People sleep with their phones, eat with their phones, and are more likely to lose their car keys and wallet than their phone … If you dial a number, in an instant, you can be in a sales conversation. There is no other tool that will connect you to people faster, deliver better results, fill your pipe more effectively, and help you cover more ground in less time than the phone.” PUTDP.
He goes on to say: “…when you default to an asynchronous communication channel like email, because emotionally it’s easier for you to keep people at arms-length, human connections begin breaking.” And… “when in doubt, pick up the phone.”
I’ve heard from successful sellers who practice prospecting tactics every day. A highly effective approach is a combination of phone, email, and LinkedIn.
One seller calls his approach the “double tap.” It’s an email to the prospect, immediately followed up by a phone call. The email is short and to the point, offering a clear benefit to the prospect. The follow-up call usually hits voice mail and is a carefully scripted message to create curiosity. The message tells the prospect to check their inbox for an idea that may help them now. Together the email/phone call combination gets noticed, delivering a much higher response rate than either one sent solo.
Whether using phone, email, chat, text or Zoom, all selling is done somewhat virtually. And the phone call is the workhorse of virtual selling.
As managers, don’t let your sellers hide behind the written word. Phone calls will get noticed, as long as they catch the prospect’s attention.