Should You Email First or Just Pick Up the Phone?

by | Nov 22, 2019 | Sales Motiviation

Many salespeople struggle daily with a quandary common to their profession:

What is better – to call a prospect on the phone first or send an email first?

Some sales pros say you should always email first to warm up a prospect. Others claim that emailing first is a waste of time, and even worse, might make you look like a “typical salesman,” blindly following a step-by-step selling template.

A similar quandary happens when you substitute “marketing” for “email.” In other words, which is better – call first or wait for the marketing team to “soften the target?”

People on both sides of this debate can be passionate in arguing their beliefs.

Who’s right? What’s the best approach? Should you just pick up the phone and get to it or should you take some marketing steps first?

It depends. The answer varies based on your personal style and your company’s policy. Either way is right as long as you practice good sales techniques.

This is where the term, “cadence” comes into play. It’s taking between 8 to 12 attempts on average to get a cold prospect to have a live discussion with you. Therefore, you need lots of messages and a cadence – your system (and order) for communicating with new prospects who haven’t heard of you and certainly don’t yet have a relationship with you.

My typical prospecting cadence usually starts with two prospecting emails before I ever pick up the phone. You don’t have to follow the same cadence; you just need to find what’s most effective for you.

If the only reason you like to email first is because you’re afraid to pick up the phone or dread talking to cranky prospects who don’t want to be bothered, then emailing first is the wrong choice.

Whether you call first or email first, selling fundamentals remain the same. Salespeople are successful when they research their prospects and find out everything they can about the problems they face each day.

Using the right prospecting language is critically important. Whether sending emails or calling on the phone, you need to catch a prospective client’s attention by sharing valuable insights rather than talking yourself, your company or your offering.

When you are armed with detailed background information about a prospect and are prepared to show how your product or service provides genuine value to them using compelling language, then the communication channel you choose is not terribly relevant.

Jeff Beals helps you find better prospects, close more deals and capture greater market share. He is an international award-winning author, sought-after keynote speaker, and accomplished sales consultant. He delivers compelling speeches and sales-training workshops worldwide. He has spoken in 5 countries and 41 states. A frequent media guest, Jeff has been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Men’s Health, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.

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