Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How Much is One Phone Call Worth to You?

A fine blog posting by sales trainer Paul Castain got me thinking: When it comes to building relationships with your clients, how much more valuable is a phone call than an email?

Here's Castain on the topic:
I caught myself doing something big time over the last few weeks and for once, I’m proud to say ... I did something about it!

I caught myself getting way too comfy with nice, safe email relationships.

And it's real cool too, because the world and I have seemed to have reached an unspoken understanding that its all good.

We justify it by thinking about how busy everyone is, how much easier it is to shoot a quick email and maybe, just maybe we’re very astute and have flagged this as just the new normal!

In my case, I have the ultimate excuse (don’t we all) I’m knee deep in redesigning a training program for my company and I can’t lose momentum.

Yep ... I suck!

A few weeks ago, I caught myself red freakin handed (an upgrade from red handed) when I was clinging to my email relationships. So I did the unthinkable.

I picked up the phone and engaged in the ancient art of conversation and it blew everyone’s mind . . .

Because who the hell answers an email with a phone call?

I agree: Who calls anyone to reply to an email?

You should, if you want to eliminate potential misunderstandings with a client or prospect.

You should, if you want to convey a complex set of instructions or make a detailed request.

You should, if you want to let your voice fully support your words.

Think about that last sentence. The words themselves carry only a tiny sliver of any message. When your message goes by email, it arrives without your tone of voice, your energy level, and your emphasis on particular words. Not to mention spam filters or misspellings that make you look silly.

In my experience, I find that one phone call is worth about 5-10 emails.

Stated differently, it takes up to 10 emails to build the same level of trust between you and another person as you can achieve in just one phone call.

Heck, even voicemail is more valuable than an email -- you can tell a lot about a person by the message they leave. Do they ramble? Are they friendly? Fast-talking? Intelligent sounding?

What's your opinion on email vs. phone calls? I'd love to know -- please comment below.

(Kevin M. Donlin is author of the Special Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Small Business Professionals.)

1 comment:

  1. It's always easier and 'cost effective' to send emails. And yes, I do admit I hide behind that 'mask' (if you will).

    However, my partner is quite the opposite and will answer almost every email or text message with a phone call because it's more personal that way and you can judge their reaction by their voice instead of just guessing by what you think the tone of their email is.