ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Jenny Cartwright
Jenny Cartwright Australia’s leading telephone sales expert, Jenny Cartwright, is also a sales strategist, sales trainer and coach. She has had over 30 years’ hands-on, 'in the trenches' experience in guiding many of Australia’s leading companies to the pinnacle of sales success. Jenny now owns her own training company Sales and Telesales Solutions. She has personally trained over 25,000 people in sales, telesales and customer service over the last 14 years. She runs public workshops all over Australia and conducts in-house customised training for companies worldwide.

Jenny Cartwright has written 20 article(s) for us.

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WNA Blog Home

The Telephone Vs. Email

October 29, 2012 | Jenny Cartwright

Learn how the telephone can help build stronger client relationships.
Learn how the telephone can help build stronger client relationships.

It is very important to find the time to call your existing customers rather than send emails which may be missed. The magic of the personal touch is all important to a) keep your customers b) to build on the relationships you have and c) to get more business not for right now but for the next year.

Oh yes, we make excuses – what’s the point, no-one is ever in, they are all out. What if you did call them and they were in? You might even make another sale or build on your relationship with them. We are all getting lazy; we send emails to market our products and services and rarely find time to follow these up with phone calls. Trouble is, everyone is now doing that and no-one gets time to open your email unless it is very enticing to read.

I don’t know about you but I get very annoyed when I send an email asking for a reply and it does not get answered. People are just too busy.  If you need an answer, you have to ring them anyway and when you do, you save time because you get an immediate answer to what you want to know. I was looking for a distributor for my new book and so I sent an email to four distributors requesting their interest.

Guess what! One replied the same day and he is the one who is getting my business.  One rang back 3 weeks later – he was just catching up on his emails. My deal was already signed and sealed with the other distributor! I did not even get a reply from the other two people.

Here is another example about the power of the telephone over email.  I was the President of an international networking group called Business Swap. Its purpose is to foster the personal and professional development of its members through education, motivation and experience. As well as our monthly big breakfasts with international speakers on sales, marketing and personal development, we have business development workshops each week.

Well, I found, despite three emails sent to the members, I had four people booked for the business building workshop in two days’ time.  I knew it was going to be a great meeting and felt sad that the members were going to miss out. Despite thinking I did not have the time to ring everyone, I decided to spend one hour doing just that.

The good thing was that you could tell from everyone’s tone that they were in a rush too and could not talk for long and so I was very quick to get an answer as to whether they would like to come or not.

Within an hour my numbers went up to fourteen attendees from four.  Was it worth ringing? Of course it was. Here’s why:

  1. 70 per cent of the people had neither seen the emails nor read them.
  2. They were grateful I called as they did not know the workshop was on.
  3. They knew I cared about the fact that they should not miss that workshop and were eternally grateful after the event because they got so much out of it.
  4. For me it was quick and easy to do and I got an answer straight away.

So I encourage you to use the phone rather than emails. If customers are out, leave an interesting message on their voicemail about what you can do for them this year and thank them for their past business. It’s the personal touch that counts.

1.  Call your “A” Customers first

These are the twenty per cent of your client base that gave you eighty per cent of your business last year. Don’t try to sell too much. Make it a research call to find out how you can help them reach their goals in the near future. Find out what their goals are, their challenges, and their personnel changes.  The more you know about them, the more you are likely to add value to them.

2. Call your “B” Customers second

These are the customers who may only have bought once from you this year. Thank them for their past business and find out what needs you can help them with in the near future to help them achieve their goals.

3.  Call your “C” customers third

These are the people that you did quotes for and never ended up closing business with them. Call them again to show you care. Try to offer them something of value like an article you have seen in the paper that might be of interest to them. Reconnect by calling them with the personal touch and renew a spark with them for next year.

Have you found the telephone to be more effective than email? What do you use in your business to communicate? Share your comments below.

  • Samantha Schelling

    Hi Jenny,

    Depending upon what it is, I can do either — or both!

    If I’m after some more technical or additional information to add to some work for a client, I’ll e-mail, so it’s all clear and easy to refer back to. Often then, I’ll pick up the phone after a couple of e-mail back and forths. The purpose of that call is ostensibly to say “thank you”, but also as you say: to connect in person with them.

    But, if, as in your example, it’s just a quickie to begin with, then I’ll call. It’s faster, and I don’t have to wade through “stuff”.

    Interesting post.