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To Call Or Not To Call...That Is the Sales Question

Sales strategies have come a long way in the last 50 years, and thankfully so. Few of us pine for the days when purchasing goods and services meant thumbing through printed catalogs or perusing advertisements in newspapers and magazines. Thanks to technology, we now enjoy the advantages of speed and the freedom to quickly select from an array of options.


Yet, as sales professionals, we might be tempted to view phone calls to potential prospects as an antiquated tactic—a remnant from our grandparents' days, no longer relevant for making connections. It's time to reevaluate this belief.


Emails have become a staple in our sales arsenal. Mailchimp states:

  • The average email marketing open rate across industries hovers around 21.33%

  • Conversion rates—those who click through and take action—range from 2 to 5%, depending on the industry.

This data supports the efficacy of email campaigns, provided there's a sizable database to yield results. Email appeals to our love for simplicity: with a click, we can reach thousands without the discomfort of potential rejection.

But let's not mistake ease for effectiveness;

emails can be a powerful touchpoint when they resonate with the recipient's needs, yet they are not the sole tool we should rely on.


The art of making calls has unfairly been likened to the tactics of overseas telemarketers—often not the best association. But making calls is a craft, akin to reciting poetry. It demands skillful communication—not just to persuade but to connect personally. Many salespeople I've trained initially dismiss calls as ineffective. When pressed, they cite various reasons: people don't answer, they're too busy, they dislike calls, nobody works from the office anymore, or they've never been asked to make calls by their company.

Reflecting on my own experience with cold calling, I faced a significant hurdle: fear. With little training and just a list of contacts, I was expected to make calls or visit prospects in person. My initial approach was mechanical, delivering a canned message that led to minimal engagement and frequent rejection. This changed when I started to refine my approach—treating each call as a unique opportunity to connect and offer value. It's been a process of practice, failure, and continuous improvement.


At Butler Street, we subscribe to the philosophy: "Technology for transactions, people for relationships." While it's essential to embrace technology for efficiency, sales is both an art and a science. It's about conveying value. John Maxwell, in "The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication," emphasizes the law of connection:

  • focus on yourself, and you'll seek attention

  • focus on content, and you'll deliver information

  • focus on others, and you'll make connections


To excel in sales, be a communicator who prioritizes the needs of the market and the benefits your audience can gain from your company's services. It's about them, not us. Embrace a diverse approach, integrating emails, social selling, and calls into your strategy.


If you're apprehensive about your calling skills, remember, you're not alone. Effective communication can be learned and perfected. At Butler Street, we provide a comprehensive suite of communication techniques, processes, and best practices. By mastering these, you can enhance your ability to connect meaningfully with your prospects and improve your communication skills, a craft that can indeed be honed. View our comprehensive online learning programs and courses or contact us for more info on blended learning options and workshops.



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