I don’t like chit chatting on the phone. That’s especially true for business related conversations. Because of this, I hardly ever use the telephone to contact prospective buyers of my domain names. There is a good time to use the phone though, and I’ll share when I think it’s appropriate.
After sending emails to prospective buyers and you receive a reply from someone who seems interested but isn’t quick to reply or has short replies, you might want to give them a phone call to discuss. A phone call can help move a deal forward in several ways:
- Establish trust
- Speed up the pace of negotiations
- Allow you to get a better read on the buyer
- Move the negotiation to your schedule
- Take away some leverage from the buyer
The primary reason I use the phone is to move a conversation along more rapidly and to get a better read on the buyer. Based on the buyer’s needs for the name and/or interest level, I can price it accordingly and also offer better terms.
I can also gauge how familiar the prospect is with domain names and domain acquisitions. If I think the sale process and transfer will likely take more time and effort than usual, I can price the domain name accordingly.
One important thing to keep in mind is that a phone call can also kill a deal. If the buyer asks questions you don’t know the answers to or appear reluctant to answer, he or she might have no interest in doing business with you. In addition, if you struggle with communications (ie you don’t speak the same language as the buyer fluently), it might make things more difficult and might also cause trust issues.
I think using the phone can be an effective negotiation strategy. I would not use it to cold call, and I would use the time to build trust, establish a dialogue, and try to push a deal forward.