My phone rings about five minutes before I’m due in a meeting. It’s Verizon – again.

They’ve been calling me at least once a week for the past three months. Every time they do (at least, on the occasions when I pick up), I say the same thing: “Please don’t call me during work hours. I’ll be happy to consider this offer, but I’d rather see it in writing. Can you e-mail me the details?”

I like Verizon. And the offer they want me to accept sounds like a good one. But, aside from the fact that they keep calling me when I’m working, I have a big problem with what they’re doing: They want me to agree to a change in my sales plan over the phone. That doesn’t fly with me. I’d rather get an e-mail or a letter containing all the details, so I know exactly what I’m agreeing to.

Listen, I’m not criticizing Verizon for using the phone to make sales. This is a perfectly good marketing channel that can be an effective way to get people to buy.

But it’s not good for me. And I bet it’s not good for a lot of Verizon’s customers. Instead of relying solely on the phone to make sales, they should be reaching out to me using multiple channels. E-mail. Direct mail. Even text messaging.

This applies to you, too. If you’re trying to attract new customers by using just one marketing channel, you’re probably missing out on a ton of sales. Instead, reach out to them using several different channels. That way, they can respond to you via the method that’s easiest and most convenient for them.

[Ed. Note: Not sure exactly how to reach your prospective customers? Pick up a copy of the Amazon.com bestseller Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business by MaryEllen Tribby and Michael Masterson. In it, you’ll find comprehensive guidelines for using 12 proven and effective marketing channels to attract new customers. Get all the details here.]

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