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When Cold Calling, Should I Email First or Call First?

Sales Question:

Is it a good approach to email a lead some information about our product/company prior to making a call?”

Let’s see if we can find the right answer by asking a few questions first…

  1. How many emails per day do you think your prospect gets on average? (It’s a lot)
  2. Out of all the emails a prospect gets per day, would you say your email would fall in the IMPORTANT/BUSINESS category or the UNSOLICITED/JUNK category? (Hint: It’s the latter)
  3. How many of the UNSOLICITED/JUNK emails pique a prospect’s interest enough to be willing to take your call when you call them? (Answer: It’s WAY LESS than you think)

Sending unsolicited emails followed up with a sales call usually goes something like this:

Salesperson: “Hi (Prospect’s Name) this is (Your Name) with (Your Company Name) I’m following up on an email we sent to you regarding BLAH, BLAH, BLAH and wanted to see if I could get a few minutes on your calendar to see if we can save you time and money. Is tomorrow good for you?”
Prospect: “I’m sorry, what email?” OR “I don’t remember getting any email!”

Sales people that send emails prior to the call do so because they were told it “warms the prospect up” but if that were true and it was working for you, I don’t think you would be asking me this question.
I’ve found it to be way more effective to have a solid opening value statement that piques a prospect’s interest over sending an email first and then calling a few days later and wasting my opener on referencing the email.

“So, is emailing prospects a waste of time?”

Not all emails are created equal. There’s a great benefit in having prospects get to know and like you (or your company) before ever speaking with you and using email can be a great way to make that happen – but you will need to send emails that offer valuable information that the prospect can use, without asking for anything in return.
One of the reasons sales emails fail to deliver quality (and quantity) results for salespeople is because they are making the same mistakes via email as they are over the phone… They are focused on getting a sale rather than piquing interest and solving a problem.
If you’re going to email, it needs to be a strategic approach that continues to offer your targeted audience information that makes their situation better so that when you do call them, they’ll know you’re there to help them, not sell them.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to: avoid being rejected by gatekeepers, leave voicemail messages that get callbacks and overcome tough pricing objections. Request a proposal here to have Michael teach your sales team his techniques!