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Prospecting: Email or Call First?

Sales Prospecting Question:

“I’m more comfortable sending emails first to new prospects rather than calling and interrupting their day but my manager says its better to call first… who’s right?”

Well, couple things here…
1) When you say “you’re more comfortable” emailing a prospect first, how do you mean, exactly?
Most times when I hear this, what the salesperson is really saying to me is “I get less rejection this way”. Well, you probably get the same amount, if not more rejection (depending on how many emails you send out compared to how many dials you would make) but they are less PAINFUL rejections because they didn’t tell you “No” over the phone… they simply ignored your email.
2) The comment about “not wanting to interrupt” their day doesn’t fly with me.
Again, if your prospects feel like you are interrupting their day, your opening value statement needs work. A prospects interest should be piqued in the first few seconds of the call. If that’s not happening, you’re either calling the wrong prospects or your opening value statement (What you say after: Hello, my name is _____) needs a tune-up.
With that said if you still prefer to send out emails AND you’re making quota, why fix what isn’t broken? Keep doing what you’re doing.

The Problem With Emailing First

If on the other hand you aren’t hitting your numbers, you may want to fix what’s causing you to get rejected and then start making the sales calls first. Let me share a personal story with you that may change your mind about wanting to hit the “send” button on that email before calling.
I recently completed an online form requesting to be contacted about a service I’m interested in. This makes me a WARM LEAD because I’ve RAISED MY HAND.
To my dismay, the company that I contacted either has salespeople who are afraid to pick up the phone or have an automated system that takes the sales rep out of the picture because I continuously get emails asking when I would like to set up a time to have a conversation regarding my request.
I wanted to have that conversation (like I usually do with all things) YESTERDAY. However, I have yet to respond to their request, even though I am highly interested… Want to know why? Because I always have so much on my plate, I keep pushing it off! But if the salesperson would just call me, there’s a great chance (unless he/she is totally unprepared) that I would stop what I’m doing and talk with them!
It is way too easy to push emails aside. So if you want to increase your pipeline and shorten your sales cycle, make the call first, then follow that up immediately with an email and a LinkedIn connection request.
Three touches in less than 120-seconds I’m sure will prove to deliver a better response rate than simply emailing.
Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.


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