September 8

Coming on September 22: Email vs. Phone vs. In-Person Meeting? Four Viewpoints

Marketing Strategy


To what extent can you substitute emails for telephone calls and face-to-face meetings when maintaining and developing relationships with clients and other key market contacts? The answer to this frequently-asked-question affects how you spend your precious business development time and money.  Getting it right will improve your sales effectiveness.  No wonder it’s so frequently asked.  But what is the answer?

On September 22, four bloggers will post their answers simultaneously.  They are:

  1. Ford Harding, student of selling professional services.
  2. Tom Kane, specialist on marketing and selling legal services.
  3. Mark Buckshon, prodigious blogger and specialist on marketing and selling design and construction services.
  4. Yours Truly.

We hope this attention to the issue generates conversation on the subject with all of our readers.

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Emails, telephone calls and face-to-face meetings…

    In my humble opinion, until a relationship has been established all email is spam. Even well targeted emails without a relationship are more annoying than valuable.

    Speaking from experience, the average executive gets upwards of 150 emails per day. They don’t even have time to read the important ones.

    But, if they are first hit with a very short well targeted voice mail, with a message that you got their name and permission to call them from the assistant to the CEO, then the email just might begin to be a little less spam like.

  2. We did some research into this recently at The Marketing Practice, and what we found in some way backs up what Jeff Koser is saying. It shows that the average IT decision maker receives 145 emails per week from potential suppliers. That’s an awful lot of noise to cut through.

    However this isn’t the whole story. 78% of the respondents (IT decision makers in large companies) said they felt marketing approaches made by new IT suppliers were poorly targeted.

    To me it’s not about getting the communication channel right. What’s more critical is the effort that goes into that communication in the first place. If the content’s useful and relevant, you have a solid chance of getting through. But you need to have tried hard with what you’re sending or saying.

    The respondents to our research said this was the exception rather than the rule – they said they mostly felt they were just being approached as part of a low cost, low effort campaign that wasn’t in any way personalised to them.

    Across all marketing communications, the research we did shows that less than a quarter of what was sent was seen as relevant.

  3. Wow Brian! You’ve hit on a hot topic here. Can’t wait to read your experts thoughts. Any user of current online contact management and CRM systems wrestles with this question and most get stuck because they can’t answer this very question.

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