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Pick up Your Phone: 5 Occasions When It’s Better to Call Than Email

While email might be the preferred method of communication for many, sometimes it’s just faster to pick up the phone and have a conversation. 

If you’re anything like me, you have a love hate relationship with email. On the one hand, it’s the preferred method of communication for many customers, so we’re forced to learn to use it to our advantage. On the other hand, email communication can take 10X as long as phone communication, among other disadvantages.

Here are some scenarios in which you should avoid email entirely and love the phone.

Pricing objections

If your prospect is objecting to price, avoid the urge to overcome this objection via email. There are a few reasons. First, you might not know which type of pricing objection your prospect has, and an email response without clarification might miss the mark.

Types of pricing objections:

  • “Your price is too high based on your competitors’ pricing”
  • “Your price is too high for my budget”
  • “Your price is higher than a substitute product, and I don’t see enough value in your offering to pay the extra money.”

Determining which type of pricing objection you’re dealing with is imperative for handling it appropriately and clarifying this information can take 2-3 emails spread out over an entire day period.

Transition to phone by using the email template below:

Prospect: “Hi Seth, That price is too high… but thank you for your time. Jim”

You: “Hi Jim, I understand why you might be concerned about pricing. Let’s jump on a quick call to talk specifics and get everything ironed out… then you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to which way to go. I have an opening at 3:15 and can give you a shout then, unless another time works best.”

I like this response because it’s not asking for permission, and you’re letting the client know you’ll be calling them unless they tell you otherwise, so you won’t look over aggressive

  • Your prospect has a list of “wants,” some of which can’t be accomplished. Some prospects want to customize an order to a very high degree and if you can’t accommodate each of their requests, better to have this conversation via phone rather than email. The reason is that, on a phone call, the prospect might be more forthcoming about which features are most important vs. least important. You might be better able to distinguish the “must-haves” from the “nice-to-haves” via phone.

  • Your customer has a complaint, or has had a bad experience. When someone has had a less than perfect experience with your product or service, your best bet is to pick up the phone and help them resolve it quickly. Trying to do so via email can simply take too long, and too much information can become “lost in translation.” Additionally, upset customers benefit greatly from becoming reintroduced to the “human element” of your company, and nothing accomplishes this better than a personal, proactive phone call to solve their problem.

  • Your prospect is close to signing a deal with a competitor. In this situation, time is of the essence… big time. You have one shot to pull the prospect over to your side, and you should be as aggressive as possible. Sending an email and waiting for a response is not the best move because, in order to capture this prospect, you need his complete and undivided attention. You also need to make sure he receives your message in a timely fashion (i.e. before he pulls the trigger on the competitor’s product). Neither can be guaranteed via email, so your best option is to pick up the phone and get the prospect on the line. If your communication has been mostly email to this point, send the following email:

    “Hi Jim, Sounds like you’re pretty close to making a decision. Had another idea that might be very beneficial to you, will give you a call in 10 minutes to discuss. Thanks, Brad”

  • Your prospect has a lot of questions

    If someone has tons of questions, consider this a good thing! It means they’re sincerely interested in your offering. However, if she’s hitting you with 7 questions right now, chances are pretty good that more are waiting around the corner. Better to jump on a call and get everything ironed out in 10 minutes, otherwise you could be engaged in a marathon email volley that is time-consuming and counterproductive. It’s counterproductive because time kills deals, and email takes too much time. Get on a call if possible, answer the questions, and ask for the business.

Ultimately, your ability to move away from “email-volleying” and into phone conversations depends on one thing: Remembering to make the phone call. Many sales professionals simply forget to initiate phone contact until they’re 8-9 emails deep with a prospect and a simple phone conversation would have closed the sale hours (or days) ago. Put a sticky note on your desk that says, “Would this conversation be better via phone?”

For more information or to set up a consultation to discuss your team’s sales needs, contact us a 603-953-5212.

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