I teach financial professionals how to set initial appointments by phone. In the past couple of years many advisers have wanted to discuss emailing and texting in lieu of phone calling.
Even with more phones than ever, people pick up less often and everyone can rely on voice mail. It’s easy to ignore arriving phone calls because you can retrieve the information when it’s convenient for you.
I am appreciative of technology. But probably less than those who are of younger generations. Inevitably, I turn to my 24-year-old niece for help when I can’t understand something on my computer, though I manage pretty well for a baby boomer.
Technology’s role is important and we discuss it in every seminar I conduct. Those in their early thirties and younger are perturbed by the fact that the phone is still an important part of the equation. I strongly believe it must be in your mix of contact methods.
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Yes, many people prefer to communicate by email and its swiftness can be helpful when trying to do certain types of communication. But if you agree with me that we’re in a relationship-driven business, the personal touch of an “in-real-time” phone call is still important. And you must master it.
There are many disadvantages to emailing. The first is that you cannot guarantee that the recipient didn’t just delete your email if they don’t know you or your email address (think of a referral). The second is that it is very easy for the prospect to ignore you and not respond to your email. (The comparable issue on the phone is the low contact rate we are all experiencing these days.)
Third, it is very hard to express what you are trying to say in your initial appointment-setting contact. Writing a marketing email requires a talent that many of us don’t have.