This post is more of a rant without any heavy duty research. If you remember from one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that writing consistently is key for any blog. Well you can see that even writing once a week can be a challenge. Especially with all of our demands and busy schedules.
And amid our busy schedules, we rarely enjoy being interrupted. What’s worse, is being interrupted during our down time or our free time. And I have to say it, but the noise that upsets me the most and is a major source of interruption, is the sound of a phone ringing. The telephone is undoubtedly one of the greatest communication tools invented. But when it comes to etiquette, it’s one of the worst.
If you think about it, when a phone rings, it’s a blaring interruption into our daily lives without any consideration for the recipient. It’s a loud siren that says, ‘hey, stop what your doing, pick me up, and focus all of your attention on me’. I mean it does serve its purpose when the call is from a friend or a loved one or an important contact. But when a call is from someone you’re not expecting, it’s probably one of the worst tools to engage with.
I know that at my office, I’m afraid to answer my phone. Not because I’m anxious about talking to a stranger, but because I know immediately that I’m about to be pitched by a sales person. Luckily, we have call display, and even with it, if it’s a number that I don’t recognize, I decide to answer the phone with apprehension. 9/10 times it’s a sales person.
I know that at home, at around 6-7pm I’ll get three or four calls from telemarketers. Since they’re calling from out of the country, I recognize the distinct long-distance ring programmed into my phone. On occasion I’ll pick up, and I’ll notice a bit of a delay as the line connects. I hang up immediately knowing it’s a telemarketer. Sometimes when I do answer, I have to be direct and say no. Makes me feel bad for the telemarketing employees.
It’s no wonder why text messaging is so popular. It allows you to communicate with someone on their terms when it’s not always the case that you need to talk to someone. I think social media plays a big part in this too. You can use email, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and more, to get in touch with someone. In fact, we’re even more connected now than when we only had a phone. And since we’re able to filter our messages, only the important stuff gets through.
I know that the cold calling population will not appreciate this post. But the ideology to use cold calling only with a phone is getting old. So don’t get me wrong. I still think there is value in approaching prospects in the hopes of beginning relationships. What I’m saying is there are different ways to do it. One of the first things you need to do, is focus your efforts on inbound marketing. Get found, and better yet, have prospects call you. Next, focus on tools like lead nurturing, and warm your leads with quality content. Start relationships over email. Ask for permission to contact someone. Schedule a time. Go figure, that approach could lend to more success than just going in cold.
What do you guys think? Is the phone dead? Do we need it?