When you prospect for new customers, how do you go about it? Do you buy advertising? Do you use an emailing list? Do you blast on Twitter?

There are lots of ways to gain new customers. Today, it has become increasingly cheap and easy to use the internet for all of our lead generation. Everywhere you look online, there are ads and articles luring you into sales funnels. Emails have invented junk folders just to deal with the truckloads of digital marketing that floods our lives.

But despite the various methods that businesses use to get in touch with customers, there is ultimately one goal that all of these businesses are trying to achieve: they want to start a conversation between the customer and their sales people.

No business thinks that an advertisement alone will make you buy a product. An email doesn’t compel you to buy something immediately—it simply sparks a silent conversation that will hopefully end with a customer and salesperson engaged in a dialogue.

So if the goal of prospecting is to start a conversation with customers, what is the fastest and most effective way to actually start that desired conversation?

Phone based sales.

It might seem old fashioned and tedious, but phone based sales remains the most direct and powerful way to start a conversation with your customers. Instead of waiting for customers to work their way down the marketing funnel, businesses can make a memorable impact on customers with a substantive conversation over the phone.

Phone based sales can also be done at a relatively low cost. With a single agent making 50 phone calls a day, you are bound to connect with at least 5-10 customers. Sure, with email, you can reach thousands of customers in an instant. But how many of those customers read your email? Probably no more than 15-20%. How about the number of people who respond to your email? Maybe 2%? While you connect with fewer people via the telephone, calling customers allows you to have conversations with just as many as with digital marketing. Ask yourself this, do you get a phone call for every 50 emails you send out?

And this is not to say that you should abandon your digital marketing efforts. Rather, you should incorporate phone based sales into your lead generation mix. Using email, blogs, social media, advertising, and phone based sales, you will be able to reach customers in multiple ways and create more live connections.

Most importantly, by using telemarketing to generate leads, you will start a conversation with your customers immediately and create a direct impact on them.