While the days of "dialing for dollars" are long gone, I respectfully submit that anyone who thinks the phone is an archaic means of communication is sadly mistaken. Very rare are those for whom ONLY blogging and posting on social media will bring all the business that they need.
A successful inbound marketing strategy with some elements of outbound activity will even out the ups and downs of the sales cycle. And yes, this may mean using the telephone.
Except that now, using the phone looks like this:
- With abundant information available online, you can build a list of prospects and approach them intelligently -- not "cold calling" but "warm calling";
- With a regular lead nurturing program, where you have your prospects' permission to maintain contact via email, you can place smart follow-up calls whenever a prospect clicks on a link to download or access an educational resource you have produced;
- Calling someone to reconfirm they will be attending your event or meeting you at an industry tradeshow (something that mitigates no-shows!).
Smart outbound activities may also sending them the odd mailing or handwritten note. If you think I'm kidding on the snail mail bit, check out this blog from my friend and meeting planner extraordinaire, Sandy Biback.
Inbound marketing without outbound activity is like expecting to meet Mr. Right with online dating, without going out on any dates! It's possible, but likely a recipe for failure. But your odds will be better if you are willing to maintain the relationship proactively too!