7 Best and Worst Ways of Contacting Someone for a Sales Pitch

by Tony Chung on October 10, 2010

In my last post, I talked about how to not be a whore and succeed in a business transaction.  In this post, I want to talk about wooing a potential client.

This article is about initial contact.

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😉

More specifically, the best and worst ways of getting someone’s full attention (so that subsequently he/she will believe in you and your product/service enough to actually fork out money).

In my experience, here are …from WORST to BEST… 7 ways of contacting someone for a sales pitch:

  1. MSN or Some Chat Client = NO GOOD :-(
  2. Facebook Wall
  3. Facebook Message
  4. Text Message = ACCEPTABLE 😐
  5. E-mail
  6. Phone Call
  7. Meet In Person = HELL YEA!! 😀

Notice one through five are all based on text communication.  Almost all tone and personality is lost through text, unless you’re an amazingly convincing writer.  Number six and seven are both verbal.

1. MSN or Some Chat Client – If you go this route, you’re just lazy.  You didn’t even make the effort to pick up a phone.  Plus, people can purposefully ignore your instant message while you sit there wasting your time wondering why they haven’t responded.

2. Facebook wall – If you try to get someone interested in your product with a public wall post, you’re trying to appear personal but in fact you are masking your greediness and trying to get a lot –by gaining more visibility– out of your minimal effort.  Don’t be an arse…

3. Facebook Message – This is where you start showing some actual effort.  You provide a private message, showing that you want to personally share something with this person.  Also, because it is an independent message (as opposed to one of many, many wall posts on one page), it receives much more attention and is much more likely to prompt a response.

4. Text Message – Actually this is still pretty lazy and shows a general lack of aggressiveness (and also some passiveness).  But at the very least, 1. it is very personal and 2. it is literally instant i.e. he/she will receive the message RIGHT away.  Plus, it takes quite some effort to type out a full, personalized text message on phone.

5. E-mail – Now we’re talking.  E-mail is very personal (as long as there aren’t any irrelevant CCs).  It is focused, direct (as opposed to on a platform like Facebook with a lot of noise), and free of any distractions (like other wall posts on Facebook).  It shows that you are focused and serious.

6. Phone Call – This takes guts.  Real guts.  You have to be ready for any response, whether it be positive or negative.  You got your A game ready.  It shows confidence and conviction.  Plus there is less room for miscommunication that could occur in text form.  Your words, tone, personality, and attitude are 99% conveyed through your dialogue.  If you’re a good talker, you just might secure a deal with only one or two phone calls.

7. Meet In Person – Old fashioned but by far the most efficient and successful method.  Taking time out of your busy and finite life to sit down with someone at a coffee shop or their company means so much more than sending out a text message or email.  Not only are you using physical dialogue (as opposed to text), but your attire and facial expressions can do wonders in contributing to your sales pitch.  Assuming you are on time, well dressed, and say the right things, you are automatically already in success territory.

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meeting in person = the way to go 😉

People can tell very easily whether you’re just out to make some of their money or if you actually care and are trying to help.  Don’t forget that being super awesome at following up is equally if not more important than the items mentioned above.  FOLLOW UP always.

These are just my two cents.  Your thoughts?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ivan October 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm

i'm in sales and i never use 2/3/4. based on experience 1 and 5 are both very hit or miss. depending on the situation MSN works better. you get a dialogue going with MSN but you can be more detailed and specific on email. the trade off is on email that you have no idea if or when they read the email.

you're right on phone and face to face though, the closer you are to the person the more effective you are in general as long as you actually know what you are talking about and you can think fast on your feet.

this list fits for when there are big problems you need to fix too:
by email/msn you might get the nastiest message ever
but if you had called you might get an annoyed complaint
but if you had met them face to face you would have just been given a calm comment
i think it has a lot to do with the perceived effort in addressing their issue

Tony October 13, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Thanks for the share Ivan, you make a good point about these 7 items fitting a situation with big problems to resolve (speaking from experience ;)).

At the end of the day, face to face still seems to be the way to go.

Tony October 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Thanks for the share Ivan, you make a good point about these 7 items fitting a situation with big problems to resolve (speaking from experience ;)).

At the end of the day, face to face still seems to be the way to go.

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