The most effective way to contact buyers is through personal one-on-one appointments. Traveling sales reps, trade show reps and gift mart reps typically use a variation of this approach.
But for the rest of us, this is not always the best options.
So which works best? I created success in my business with a mix of the two, but often the contact was a follow up from a face-to-face meeting or response to a customer/buyer initiated contact.
Expert, Mark Hunter, author of ‘The Sales Hunter’, offers the following suggestions (as posted in his article published on Sales Gravy website:
The question should not be the number of people you can contact. The question we need to be asking is, “What are the number of people I can close?” …
If your game is number of leads, use email. If it’s quality of leads, use the telephone. I’m extremely partial to the telephone for one simple reason — I know on the surface it will seem it’s taking me more time, but the conversations with the people I reach are more likely to turn into meaningful conversations.
When people prospect with email, the tendency is to send too much information. Reason this occurs is people believe they may have only one chance to reach a person, so they need to provide them as much information as possible.
This approach can ironically do more damage to the sales process. If the person reads all the information, they may be able to make a decision without ever talking to the salesperson.
Prospecting is about uncovering a need by creating a relationship. If this is the objective, then it’s going to require a conversation to do it and that means the telephone.
I’m not against using email to prospect. I’m just against using it as the primary prospecting method. Worse yet is using it as the exclusive way to prospect. Give me the telephone as my primary prospecting tool anytime, and I’ll use email as my backup or secondary tool.
Summary: The best approach when contacting buyers is whatever method that will inspire a relationship. Emailing is the easiest way, but it is also the most impersonal. Personally visiting a store buyer is the best method, but not always a feasible option. Personal phone calls are a good compromise between the two methods.