Not so long ago I got a message on LinkedIn from a person I did not know reaching out wanting to connect and see if we could help each other. So far so good. I responded with my phone number and said lets talk. In response got a message asking me to schedule time on their automated online calendar. I responded with a LinkedIn message saying I would be happy to talk via phone till 5:30PM that afternoon, no call, no response. Apparently this was nothing more that a conversation with an Automated BOT. After looking at the persons profile I got the impression that this is not meant in any way to be a mutual sharing of connections but rather an attempt to sell me their services.
Long ago I heard someone say Sales is a “Contact Sport” akin to football or hockey. I would add its a Personal Contact Sport. If your prospect asks you to call and have a phone conversation, clearly suggesting that is their preferred method of communication, if you want to do business with that type of customer you call. If not well then screen that type of customer out of your CRM. Given this persons one to one type of service it would behoove them to make the call vs making the prospect jump through hoops. Direct Personal contact is always more powerful than the best automated e-marketing and I am a fan of e-marking. Often times Sales People will use automation as an excuse to avoid cold calling. Sorry if you are in sales and are afraid to do cold walk ins or phone calls, you have made an interesting career choice. Yes it is hard and no one likes doing it, doing it grows your business, so do it.
Where does this type of e-markeing automation make sense? When working trade show lists, cold lists, anywhere there is little or no expectation of personal contact. When using social media like LinkedIn and sending an allegedly personal message there is the expectation of a personal method of communication. A lot depends on the prospects desired method of communication, use their desired method.
Understanding how your prospects want to communicate is key to the sales process some forward looking e-marketers use a questioner up front to allow the prospect to select upfront how they want to communicate with your company. Then tracking this in your CRM will share with the the whole team how to best serve this Prospect and hopefully future Customer. Not sure if any of this is an issue in your world, if it is feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-636-5286.