Call Me — Maybe? How to Communicate More Effectively in Media Sales

Jul 3, 2013 2:30:11 PM / by Kitty Malone

media sales communication Go analog! Pick up the phone!
Genevieve Clark, c.1912. Library of Congress, George Grantham Bain Collection.

How R U? Can I cm by n sell u sum spots? B there n 10.

Yeah, you can read it. But it certainly doesn't lend itself to an exchange of information and ideas, or solving problems.

Why is it so hard to pick up the phone and call someone? These days, it seems that texting, instant messaging and emailing are the preferred and acceptable ways to communicate. It seems easier to do, and occasionally it is. A simple “What’s up?” or “On my way” text to a friend or relative is convenient and gets a quick response when a long conversation isn't needed. However, at times I've found myself caught in text, instant message, or email WAR!

It all starts out innocently enough. But it’s easy to get caught up in back-and-forth keystrokes, explanations of certain wording, and misunderstandings. I once heard from a co-worker that a client of mine had yelled at her. Turned out they hadn't even spoken, but she perceived the “tone” of his email to her as having been offensive. I've had to stop myself after six or seven back-and-forth responses and say “Why don't we just pick up the phone and talk??!!!”

We all know that you can't interpret voice inflections or emotions when emailing, texting or instant messaging, and emoticons often don’t really do the trick. Usually, a simple phone call will clear up any misunderstanding and allows you to confirm information more reliably than email. What if the service was down and the text/email didn’t come through? Then there’s that whole safety aspect of texting/emailing and driving…

What made me think of this was a phone call I made recently to a VP of sales at a TV station in California. I left a message for the prospect on his voicemail. He called back within an hour and we set up an appointment. Before we hung up, he said to me that he rarely gets sales calls from vendors; rather, his email is full of sales emails asking for business. He appreciated the fact that I took the time to call. I know I got a lot farther with him than spamming him with emails would have.

As a media sales person, wouldn't it be nice if every call or email resulted in an appointment to do business? The fact is, the more calls we make the more business we get. Seeing someone face-to-face is preferable to talking with someone – both of which are far more preferable to emails or texts. Having a CRM system that can help organize and keep track of calls/notes/emails makes follow-up so much easier and more productive.

And don’t think I am not a believer in a good email. With the eMarketing tools out now, it is easier to communicate with a lot of people at once. However, it is usually preferable to have had contact with those you are emailing so it doesn't go to their junk folder or completely ignored. A great email campaign can also spark interest, but rarely (like never?) does the recipient get so excited from your email that they pick up the phone and say, “Sign me up! I’ll buy it all right this second!” Instead, it is up to you to follow up, and I have found that a phone call gets much better results than yet another email.

Nothing replaces a good well-thought-out phone call to a prospect. It will make YOU stand out!

[hs_action id="2138"]

Tags: Media Sales, email marketing, CRM, customer service, Blog

Kitty Malone

Written by Kitty Malone

Director of Customer Service