Why The Phone is Still King — In Politics and Prospecting

Your best sales tool is sitting on your desk. Use it.

My position that the phone beats the keyboard is a matter of public record. Here’s some supporting evidence from the world of politics.

The best sales tool is still the phone

Photo by Brian Jackson


Spend any time on social media, and you’ll soon see how much consternation the recent Presidential election has caused in some circles. My Facebook feed is filled daily (hello, Bill!) with anti-Trump links and rants.

Those posting are sincere in their beliefs, and undoubtedly feel that their postings are helping advance their goals. 

But what really works when it comes to persuading?

Daniel Victor of the The New York Times spent some time talking with activists, lawmakers, and those who work for them.

His conclusion? Use the phone.

Activists of all political stripes recommend calling legislators, not just emailing — and certainly not just venting on social media. Several lawmakers, along with those who work for them, said in interviews that … a phone call from a constituent can, indeed, hold more weight than an email, and far outweighs a Facebook post or a tweet.

Whether you are trying to persuade a lawmaker to vote a particular way, or persuade a store owner to meet with you, the phone has a huge advantage over email — it interrupts. 

For the duration of the call, the recipient has to pay attention to you. 

Interrupting is awkward. The client isn’t sitting by the phone hoping a media salesperson will call — they’re doing something else.

Most prospects, at the outset of the conversation, will not be thrilled to be on the phone with you. For this reason, many sellers will go out of their way to avoid the awkwardness that comes with cold calling.

They’ll email. Post on Facebook and LinkedIn. Tweet. All in the hopes that clients will make the first approach.

And sometimes they do. But not often enough.

As Jeb Blount puts it in his book Fanatical Prospecting:

If you want sustained success in your sales career, if you want to maximize your income, then you’ve got to interrupt prospects.

Don’t get me wrong — interrupting by itself will not get you what you want. If that worked, my cat would be eating seven meals a day.

Once the client realizes they’re talking to a salesperson, you’ve got to offer real value immediately.

You can find ideas on how to open a cold call with value here

If you can quickly offer value, and you’re willing to interrupt relentlessly, you’ll build a pretty good sales career. If not, it comes back to what Zig Ziglar said years ago: “Timid salesmen have skinny kids.”

Prospects can scroll past your LinkedInk post. They can skip over or delete your email without reading it. 

It’s a lot tougher for them to ignore your voice on the telephone. Pick a phone up and use it today.


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