The boom of the internet has not only increased the human capacity to communicate and express. It has also created its own, unique space that is purely created from that expression. Forums. Social networks. Online communities. It’s not surprising why telemarketing doesn’t seem to have achieved much in comparison.

Regardless, it’s also all the more reason why you can’t just throw your telemarketing stuff away. In age when communication itself creates spaces and communities, you’ll need all the tools to keep increasing your capacity to connect.

The truth is even online boards have limitations when it comes keeping people connected. That isn’t to say the people posting on them are any less real. On the contrary, seeing them as real and not virtual is the key success for online marketers.

But just like email and chat, you’re still only just halfway there. You’re not giving a sales presentation. The appointment hasn’t been set. All the prospect still has to go by is your name and maybe a profile pick.

Telemarketing and other real-time communication tools serve as the additional mortar to really holding your connection in place. Imagine it like this. Your target community is like a real village and you’re the guy supplying a very critical resource. More often than not, being a personality is more likely to win you additional points for your contribution compared to being the recluse.

Still, the catch is that this community is just all over the place. One person could be in the same state but another could be a long flight away. Thus, your communication tools really need to pile up in order to effectively open yourself every single one. Consider their following information needs:

  • Their understanding is average compared to yours – Even the World of Warcraft community could be filled with more casuals than popular stereotypes let on. What exactly define casuals? They’re the people who aren’t fully versed in what you’re selling (otherwise, they’d know everything and could’ve provided it themselves). They don’t want a crash course. They just want to get on with the solution.
  • Payments alone create trust issues – Even in the age of Amazon and eBay, plenty of buyers are still hesitant to place their money until they can completely verify they’re getting what they’re paying for. It’s all the more serious given the sums being transacted in B2B exchanges. You have to have a real voice, a real face, and even a real place that prospects can go to in case they want a more firsthand look at your products.
  • Word of mouth testimonies don’t seal the deal – Having a good reputation makes for good impressions but that they can still be gamed. That’s why, no matter how recommended you are, you need something to seal the deal. It can be something as simple as a phone call or it can require as much as an actual, face-to-face meeting. This something prospect’s are free to choose and you can only comply by communicating with everything you’ve got.

While you can definitely say there are real people behind the personas in online communities, you’ll need to learn a lot more about them if you’re looking for those who can be sales-ready customers. You’ll need telemarketing and other direct forms of business communication to keep your connection alive.