There is a difference. No matter what the strategy, if you perform it the wrong way, success will allude you. It may anyways, but it’s better to not go for the guaranteed loser.
For instance, many researchers recommend making phone calls. Absolutely. But how you talk to the person answering the phone will make or break you. Let’s start with this:
So let’s take the telemarketer and put him in the follow-up research world:
Researcher: Hello! How are you today? - Click
Researcher: Hi, my name is Ben Van Hunnik from the University and we are working on a research – Click
Researcher: Is Mr. Hum- Hump- Hummmperdinn- Click
Here’s what I suggest:
Researcher: Is Bill there?
You sound like somebody who knows Bill. And you do, at least from an organizational point of view. If they ask who you are, tell them within the realm of confidentiality.
People may feel it best to ask something like this:
“May I speak with Bill?”
Could work. But acquaintances usually don’t need permission to speak to Bill. Plus, it sounds too much like “May I speak with you a moment?“, which has been used as a buffer for bad news. When working on follow-up, you don’t want people to think you’re bringing bad news, or annoying them for that matter.