It’s fascinating how in recent years people have become so familiar with communicating via text and email and for many, typed speak is first and even the only choice. It’s a curious choice though for me when someone is working on a sales opportunity as written communication is invariably one way; a person is merely telling another something.
Whilst that can work in some cases as salespeople it is important that we remember our job is to help a prospect / customer make a decision to buy something. By nature that involves 2 way communication; asking questions and listening to and considering answers. 2 way communication allows a need to be uncovered, understood and developed. Products and services can be recommended, up-sold and cross-sold whilst relationships can be started and enhanced. Even when an enquiry may be straight forward and there is no immediate chance to do extra business the things you will learn about the enquirer / prospect will serve to enable you to make better suggestions and direct better suited products and services to them that are more likely to appeal later on. Remember that salespeople who have the luxury of a good stream of quality incoming enquiries as well as qualified, self-generated leads are always the top performing and highest earning in their industries.
Sure email has its place; it serves as a great tool for confirming what has been discussed, it can let people know of your name so that when you contact them it isn’t completely cold and it’s good for getting detailed information to someone in a way that prevents confusion … it isn’t though something as a rule that influences and convinces someone to buy and that your something is better than anyone else’s they can compare it to.
So the next time you receive an email asking about a product or service let the average salespeople working for your competition respond with an email. Seize your opportunity and be better than them, pick up the telephone and even make an appointment to visit them if feasible. The personal interaction will ensure you stand out from the crowd and will give you the best chance to succeed!