Call or Email?

For sales professionals everywhere

I get asked this question a lot. Which should I do to keep in touch with the client and to forward the sale: Call or Email?
images copyMy multilayered answer starts with “It depends” and it depends on what you want to accomplish. And then ask yourself “Which is the best vehicle to do that?”  Let’s look at the best use of each communication process.
Email is good for staying in touch over time, as in regular email blasts to your client base. It’s good for sending specific product or service details that the customer needs to make or confirm the decision. It’s good for leaving a trail of communication, and it’s good for information that needs to be considered over time. It’s good for follow up information when you don’t need to talk with the customer or get feedback from them.
It’s not good for forwarding the sales action to get a commitment NOW; unless there is one final detail to be confirmed and the customer knows that the next step is to purchase / order, and they do that.
Email provides a false sense of productivity because you’re doing something, it feels like you’re doing what will produce a result, but it rarely does. Being busy doesn’t equate to being productive and effective.
Calling is good for gathering information, whether specific details you need or nuanced details that happen during a conversation. When you call you can gather MORE data – you can direct the conversation deeper or expand it beyond the current understanding and shared knowledge.  You can build the connection or relationship by asking more about them and what is happening in their life since you last spoke with them. You can listen for concerns, hesitations, doubts that you would not know or be able to dismantle if you exchanged emails.  phone-clipart-3
Calling is not good for “checking it off your list” of productive behaviors, or calling to leave a message rather than speak with the customer.
When you ask what you want to accomplish and what is the best way to do that, you’ll likely get “pick up the phone” as an answer. If you are reluctant or resistant to do that, for whatever reason, know that the reason is an opportunity to grow and develop and build a formidable skill that might be lacking.  A skill that will have you able to DRIVE your business rather than wait for business to come your way.
And if you get stuck, call me at 877-663-9663.
Now, go sell something.

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