The telephone as we know it today was first patented in the United States by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Over time, dialing was significantly simplified, and technology eliminated the need for a switchboard operator to connect lines when calls were being placed.As society continues to become increasingly data driven and digital, so the question I’m asking is “are we afraid of the phone?” Do emails and texts allow us to hide behind the computer?
Phones were long considered an essential part of every home as they were a critical method of communicating with those who lived elsewhere. Also, the phone will always have a place in the world of sales and business development. Relationship management and prospecting are often activities that require a human touch to suggest to consumers that a high level of customer service is at hand. For the most part, character quality and personality are more easily detected over the phone and in-person than through writing. People generally learn to speak before reading and writing.
Business development professionals will find that written communication may seem more appealing as there is less of a possibility that the message will be rejected. An email that goes without response is less offensive than being hung up on. However, the average person will only receive six phone calls on any given day. The odds are favorable that each call will be addressed more completely than an email that may be in an inbox with dozens if not hundreds or thousands of other messages. Being one of the six callers, who isn’t deterred by the possibility of rejection, will denote the confidence of a professional no matter the industry.
A call will allow detailed and transparent communication about what a client can expect. At Rolyn, written communication is reserved for sharing documents, project status, and occasional meeting follow-up. A call is a great opportunity to provide two-way communication that an email may not always be able to. Mentioning information relevant to the conversation may spark a separate discussion about a new concept. Once an initial bond is built, this pattern of conversation emerges with time.
The potential for a call to add value to business relationships, professional behavior, and the connections one makes remains high. Despite the emergence of multiple alternatives, the phone call is still and will continue to be an important factor in the sales approach and developing the relationship necessary to be successful.