I was looking over my planning for next year and going through my notebook to see what campaigns resonated with me in 2016. One thing that has stayed front of mind is the Powwownow campaign “Can’t is easier to type than say” that appeared on the London Underground in the summer.
Business development has been phone-centric for a long time, but in the last decade digital has become an ever more prominent way of creating new opportunities. The digital space has meant that we are able to go into a meeting equipped with more background information than ever before, but what does this mean for phone-based business development?
A by-product of this change is that a potential customer is not as likely to be fielding phone calls as often. One of the taglines in the campaign was “It is easier to be angry when you type than when you talk” which I’m sure some of Angsana’s business developers may challenge, but in essence is true. By calling prospects instead of emailing, you have the chance to stand out against a growing pile of emails and connection requests.
After a prospect hears your voice you are instantly more memorable. In addition to this, you get the opportunity to create an emotional connection with your prospect and give the sales process a human touch right from the start. By leveraging this connection, you can gather a higher quality of insight and you will attend meetings equipped with not just more background information but with a much better quality of information.
As the Powwownow campaign suggests, it is much easier to ignore an email selling a service than a voice asking questions. By being proactive with calling, you can get instantaneous decisions for meeting agendas and timelines, instead of leads going cold due to email response times.
But there is one thing that the campaign forgot to mention – calling is FUN! Being able to connect with your prospects and talk to them throughout the day keeps the team motivated and upbeat – there is never a quiet moment in the Angsana office! Phone-based business development keeps the pace high and you can tell; the energy flows through the room.
The digital side of business development has allowed our primary research to flourish and for our clients to have better target lists, but the ‘old-school’ method of picking up the phone and having a meaningful initial conversation with the client has become more powerful still in the current business climate.
It seems that one of the most exciting trends to come in 2017 might be that people start to pick up the phone to talk to potential customers once more. It has been too easy to get hung up on digital, let’s dial in and make 2017 a great year.