In a meeting recently there was a person that argued that the personal touch was how people should reach out. “I hate when people send me a link to connect. If they cannot take a minute out of their day to call me then I don’t want to talk to them.” It is a pretty powerful statement and many people will feel this way. So how do we successfully use Technology to reduce our workload and make it possible for us to have the time to book calls and make new sales?
First, let me explain the technology that was being discussed when this statement came out. I was telling people to reduce the amount of time it took to go back and forth on an email, trying to find the best time to book a call, or booking their clients, it is better to use a booking software like Calendly, Aquity Scheduling, or TimeTrade. You would send a link in an email to your calendar and they choose the time that fits with their schedule. So here are my thoughts on using this type of tech.
Use Tech Instead of a Personal Call When…
- People are expecting to connect with you and need to book a time to talk.
When people know you and are reaching out to connect with you it is totally appropriate to use an online scheduling system to book clients, prospects, suppliers, and peers. It saves on back and forth emails or phone tag trying to reach a consensus on the best time.
- When you are trying to reach someone else.
When you have an issue and you need to speak to your supplier, or you are trying to reach a client, time may be a factor. Call first. If you do not get the person then leave a message with your return phone number and alternative instructions stating you will be sending a link to your calendar to set up a time to discuss your issue. They will choose what works best for them. If they don’t, you always have the phone to reach out again.
- When you don’t have their phone number.
Since cell phone numbers are not published in a centralized place, if the person you are trying to connect with has not given you their number and it is not posted on their website, you will be required to start with email. This is not ideal for potential sales leads. I rarely have this, but the time I did was an introduction from a client to someone they thought would be a good lead for me. They only had their first name and email address, so I had little to research on to find more details, like their phone number. Even though she introduced us via email, the person would not connect via email as our first touchpoint. My client could not get them to connect either, so it was less than ideal outcome for me – and based on my success rate for my clients – for him as well.
- Push Sales – Call centres and telesales.
I don’t know about you, but getting a phone call on Sunday evening at 8:30 to sell me duct cleaning is a little too intrusive for the personal touch. It is a legitimate sales process, but it does not feel personal.
Use The Personal Touch
- When you are trying to qualify a lead, you should always call first.
These are your sales calls. I would love to tell you that calling prospects and leads are now not required because of online automation, but that is simply not true, especially if you are in a service based business. Think about it, if you were to receive an email from someone you don’t really know, or maybe don’t know at all, and they ask you to “take this link to my calendar” are you likely to do that? No, in fact, you should never click links in emails from people or business you have not previously vetted. Even though most would be legitimate, this is where viruses come from.
- When returning someone else’s call.
If someone is expecting you to call, then make the call. An email with a link is not the response they are expecting and may not be appropriate timing for them. If you cannot call and have their cell number, then text them a time you will return their call.
- When you have a meeting.
When you have booked a time to have a personal conversation, you should be on time and show up where they expect to connect with you (on the phone, in person, or on a video conference call). Don’t email someone 15 minutes before a meeting to let them know you cannot make it. Email is too slow. Some people may have Facebook messenger available to them all the time, but if you have not arranged a process for cancelling or being late, then call. The timing for personal connections is more precise then sending emails, messages, or even texting.