The Simple Suggestion on Using Email

in Following Up, Unique Value Proposition

I regularly get questions about how to use email effectively in sales/telesales. Some reps say they are doing it more these days than calling.

In general, here’s how I typically answer:

I’ve heard all the excuses about prospects being hard to reach, decision makers being busy and not taking sales calls, blah, blah, blah. Upon close examination of what they are saying on their calls, however, I notice many of them don’t have value statements, or their attempts at them really suck. Bottom line, if a sales rep is spending the bulk of his/her time writing and sending introductory emails instead of calling, that is likely "call avoidance."

Here are great times TO send emails:

1. Right after a call, summarizing the details of the call, their interest, and what is to happen next.

2. Right before the next, perhaps the day before, or maybe a few hours before. Let them know you look forward to speaking with them, remind them of what they were to do, what you did, and bring something new to the table of value, perhaps some new information.

This gives you two "touches" between calls, and provides a better chance that they will do what they committed to on the previous call.

What are your thoughts, and how are you using email as part of your sales process?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Trip Allen July 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I find an email a powerful tool as a “lead in” to a cold call. Send an email 1-2 days before, introduce yourself, Etc. Chances are they won’t read it, but if they do, then you can take it the next step further in your follow up call.

Some actually feel guilty when they have not read the email, when you follow up with the call- this is often magical as they feel bad for not addressing you the first time.

Trip Allen, Team Egyii, Singapore


Melissa July 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I disagree with sending an e-mail before making the first call. I find that the less the prospect knows, the more they judge what you have to say and avoid you. Leaving voicemail the same thing – only as a last resort – moving on and not calling back.


Mike July 12, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I agree but for a different reason. I find that sending that email before the call can encourage a response or a question from your client. Then another one, and another one…and before you know it your process can get away from you. Love them as a form of re-cap.


Melissa July 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Make that “the less they know, the less they can pre-jdge you” and are more likely to pick up the phone…


millie July 15, 2010 at 2:15 am

Email has become a great acqusition tool when the prospect understands that they only have to speak to someone or visit our offices if they want to. As much as we love the idea of personal touch, not everyone has time for the warm and fuzzy. Some people just want to get their services, have their questions answered and know that if they ever need anything, that I am no more than a mouse click away. The key is to always include one or two contact numbers and answer your emails right away.


Marc Zazeela March 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm


I agree. Further, email should never be used as a substitute for a call or meeting. In my opinion, email is a great way to send short, succinct messages. I have found it ineffective for actual conversations.



Anne October 28, 2015 at 7:45 am

I wonder how much industries differ. For me, I find that I’m most successful over a shorter time span when I first leave a voicemail (my target is a level in an industry that is hard to get to) making sure I have something compelling for them; look them up on linkedin but not through Sales Navigator. I want them to see that I have looked at their profile; and then about an hour later I send an email titled, “Voicemail” with more information. I actually have about a 35% success rate using these methods. For the 65% that don’t respond to this, three days later I leave another message or try to talk to the gatekeeper and then send a follow up email to that, hopefully cc’ing the gatekeeper on it so they can help me follow up. I find if I engage the gatekeeper too early, prior to the prospect knowing I exist, I’ve lost. I rarely, if ever, speak to a prospect when setting the initial meeting. Usually I’ll have established a relationship with the gatekeeper and keep going on it until I win or lose.


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