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Before You Hit “Send”

August 5, 2013
Mary Jane Copps

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Most of us are receiving a lot of email everyday. In fact many of us are receiving too much email everyday. And still some of us, depending on our job or position within a company, are receiving three or four times too much email.

And herein lies my cautionary tale. A client of mine recently hired several new salespeople. As part of their learning curve, we were going through files in the customer relationship management (CRM) software, reading notes and email correspondence and calling existing potential clients. A pattern began to emerge and it didn’t support steady sales growth.

The new salespeople had conversations that went something like this:

Example #1:

Salesperson: “My name is Susan and I’m calling from XYZ company to follow up on conversations you’ve had with Tom … ”

Existing Prospect: “I’ve never spoken with Tom.”

Salesperson: “Oh … my file indicates that there’s been email correspondence .. .”

Existing Prospect: “I did receive email from Tom, but we’ve never spoken and the services your company provides are not related to my department at all.”

 Example #2:

Salesperson: “My name is Susan and I’m calling from XYZ company to follow up on conversations you’ve had with Tom … ”

Existing Prospect: “Oh, yes, but I’ve been retired now for three years.”

Example #3:

Salesperson: “My name is Susan and I’m calling from XYZ company to follow up on conversations you’ve had with Tom … ”

Existing prospect: “We’ve never spoken with Tom. No one from your company has ever called us.”

Salesperson: “Oh … my file indicates that there’s been email correspondence .. .”

Existing prospect: “We received your email, but no one ever called to have a conversation or find out more about our firm. That’s why we haven’t sent any business your way.”

There’s no doubt that email is efficient, that it can reach a lot of people quickly (like this blog post!), that it can deliver both precise and complex information. There’s also no doubt that salespeople do close business by email everyday … but how much is left untouched?

What email can’t do is create or build relationship. It can’t tell if it’s going to the wrong person – or annoying the right one. It can’t ask questions based on what’s just been said. It can’t identify potential clients’ problems … or how to solve them.

And as the above examples show, email can have absolutely no impact because … we all get too much of it and we all know how to hit “delete” – quickly.

So next time you go to hit “send”, take a moment to consider if the person at the other end is someone with whom you should have a conversation. And then … pick up the phone!

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Steve Foran says:

    Phones and conversations are important. Very important.

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thanks, Steve, for your comments. I know that your business is growing because you take the time for the conversations!

  2. Linda Daley says:

    Well, you know me… I WISH that email could build relationships but the reality is that it’s only a starter. It can be a good starter but not without proper follow-up to take the conversation to the next level.

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Very true, Linda. We can get a relationship started by email … and we can sometimes maintain it by email for short periods of time. But its important to have conversations, learn more and “hear” what others are thinking.

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