With so many new means of communication, you can’t possible think that only one is needed to successfully connect (and stay connected) with clients. Today, more B2B marketing professionals are starting to see that relying on a single medium for contacting prospects is inconvenient and counterproductive to the whole process. The best solution is no longer based on rejection but integration. What methods can you use besides the one you just tried?
But before that, you’re probably wondering: why is it so counterproductive? Many people are often in favor of one method over another. In fact, lead generation companies have a natural tendency to defend the method with which they use to serve their own clients. Who is to be believed?
The problem is just that. They’re not comfortable discussing the shortcomings of their methods. You can be a direct mail, email, or even telemarketing company and still this would be something you all would have in common. There are flaws to each, singular approach but instead of thinking outside the box, they resort to defensiveness and business apologetics.
Speaking of which, consider telemarketing as the main example because it’s one of the oldest yet still common means of contacting business owners and decision makers. However, it’s not without its limitations. Gatekeepers pose as one of the major obstacles to telemarketers. It takes a lot of skill and preparation to know the right words that will convince them to let you through. If not gatekeepers, voice mail also poses as a problem because that too is being monitored (be it by the decision makers or one of their secretaries).
Now there’s another method which has been gaining increasing support ever since the internet has begun impacting the way businesses engage with their market: email.
Granted, there have been signs indicating the email isn’t all that new anymore either. Regardless, it’s the type of message that’s more likely to bypass the gatekeeper. It’s fast too and you don’t have to wait too long with the handset to your ear before hanging up (or rehearsing a message to leave in voice mail). You’re just leaving the message directly at their online doorstep. If the prospect replies, there can be plenty of room for a very detailed discussion.
And yet, just like telemarketing, it has its own flaws. Where telemarketers have gatekeepers, email marketers have spam filters. And even in the event that you managed to bypass it, you have to be careful with how you word everything from the subject line to the content. When you think about it, that’s hardly any different from rehearsing a script to make it not sound like a sales pitch.
At this point, this is where you should consider integration. Combine the two methods so that you can bypass both their obstacles. In the following, you will find several ways this can be done:
- You can send an email to announce the call. Even if the message wasn’t read, you can tell the gatekeeper about it. If it was sent successfully, you have a really high chance of being let through.
- If you’re not really eager to disturb, simply make the call first and tell them you’ll send an email later. Just to be safe, you might want to give this message directly to the decision maker.
- When a prospect responds, there’s also the wise option of asking them how they’d like to continue. Decision makers are still people too and they have preferences on how they’d like to communicate.