Using email instead of a phone call seems like the more efficient, and even customer-preferred way of communicating. But when you skip that person-to-person contact, you’re missing the opportunity to answer your prospect’s other questions, clarify information you may not have realized was unclear, and simply offer a more personalized customer service experience.
When you need to reach out to a prospect, do you find yourself crafting an email to communicate your message? Many sales professionals will choose to send an email as opposed to picking up the phone and calling their prospects. I have heard many reasons why this choice is made; among them: lack of time, not knowing what to say, lack of expertise and/or plain old fear of rejection. However, when you look at the two forms of communication, email versus a phone conversation, the phone conversation is always the better choice of the two.
When an email is sent, your message is added to a sea of other messages that may or may not be viewed. If the message is reviewed, you are relying on it to be crystal clear and to answer any questions that the prospect may have. If the prospect does not perceive the message the way you intended it to be perceived or if something is simply not clear to the prospect, then more often than not, that opportunity is lost.
When you pick up the phone to call your prospect and that connection is made, a real conversation is able to take place. You can uncover important information about your prospect to determine if they are actually qualified. You are given the choice to proceed to the next step and you can quickly explain the process of the next steps over the phone. Your prospect also has the opportunity to get their questions answered, obtain clarity about the value that you are offering via your product or service and decide whether or not they want to proceed. A phone conversation enables you to shorten your sales cycle when it comes to prospecting because once that connection is made and the conversation takes place, your prospect can quickly give you a yes or no answer in regard to their interest level.
Typically when an email is sent, you are relying on a hope and a prayer that your message is viewed. A second touch by a phone call or email is often needed to determine if they received the email and/or read it. If the email has not been read due to lack of time or because it was lost in the sea of other emails that were sitting in their box, this extends your sales cycle unnecessarily. If the prospect never received the message, then you will need to re-send your message and start the process all over again, whereas your message could have been communicated verbally weeks ago via a phone conversation.
So when you come to a cross-roads between sending an email or making a phone call, pick up the phone and call.
Leslie Wells is the owner of L. Wells & Associates, Inc. , a new business development firm that specializes in helping small to medium size organizations, schools and childcare centers with expanding their customer base through sales coaching and training, marketing strategy and various calling campaigns. To find out more about L. Wells & Associates, please visit www.lwellsassociates.com