In episode #7 of Marketing Academy Secrets, we explore the most underutilized tool in marketing: the telephone.
Before we dive into the advantages of leveraging the telephone for marketing, let’s first talk a bit about local businesses. Local businesses have a unique situation where they need actual people to come to them. They need someone to show up in their restaurant or someone to show up in their office and actually have face-to-face contact. Unlike virtual goods, where you can do all of the interaction online, with a local business you need to have a personal touch.
The beginning of online marketing is all about nurturing and building awareness. We call it “demand generation.” You do everything from email marketing to content marketing to PPC — with the goal of getting people into the top of your funnel so they understand that you exist and they start to build some trust with who you are. The next step is to get them to interact with you. And ideally that interaction will be in the form of a phone call. You need to have a conversation with a customer in order to take the relationship to the next level.
So, the “most underutilized tool” that I’m talking about is the phone. It’s the most ubiquitous marketing tool that we have. And interestingly enough, most companies spend very little time focusing on how to get an immediate response from their customers. The best way to build trust with someone who’s not physically in front of you is on the phone. Most companies miss this opportunity by a long shot. They have very complicated phone systems, so if someone calls them it’s really hard to get to a human. And if someone leaves a message it takes a really long time for the company to get back to them. That’s a huge missed opportunity. When you’ve spent all of these resources marketing to folks and they actually want to interact with you, but then there’s no response, it’s a huge downer.
Here are some key points to focus on: Try and get your phone calls answered immediately. If someone calls you, they call you for a reason. So if you can answer it live, that’s ideal. Train and choose the folks who are going to answer the phone. Train them really specifically. You want someone who is super personal and who is able to deal with problems, build relationships, articulate the value of your company, and answer questions in a way that can make someone feel like they’re dealing with a trusted friend or at least someone who is trusted in the niche that you work in. The other thing that I would focus on is — if you are going to have messages — don’t use pre-recorded messages. Make sure that they are voice messages that are recorded by a human. Just as you would take a unique photo to show in your content, your voicemail and the way that you set that up needs to be really personal, it needs to be professional, and it needs to be done by someone who has a really warm voice.
The most important takeaway is that you need to be human. Don’t miss the opportunity at the final yard. And that final yard is when a potential customer has reached out to you. It’s your responsibility to really make that person feel like you’re going to be there when they’re actually going to make the sale. So, be human and keep up the good fight!
How important is the telephone to your marketing strategy? Have any tips or tricks you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.