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There’s a never ending debate in the sales community; When making an initial approach to a new prospect, should this be done by phone or email?

Making an initial impression is crucial, not least because you’re trying to build trust, demonstrate your value, uncover critical information about the prospect, and ultimately get agreement to a next step, whether that’s agreeing to talk again, or even closing the sale.

If you get the approach wrong, the prospect won’t engage and may not even respond at all.

So how should you make that initial approach?

When In Doubt, Email First

More often than not, an initial email makes more sense because the prospect doesn’t have to answer it as soon as they receive it. And it also means you can then use the email as a reason to follow up with a call.

When you do make that follow up call, you can refer to the email to imply that we’re already moving forward with building a relationship.

Emailing first also gives you an opportunity to explain at least part of your value proposition to the prospect and, if you’ve done your research properly, connect that value proposition with the prospect’s individual situation.

This is important because the prospect needs to understand the value proposition first. They’re unlikely to take a call about a product they’ve never heard of if they don’t already believe they might have a need for it.

When To Call First

There is one exception when the “email first” rule might not be right… And that’s if your prospect is already aware of your company and/or your product. If they’re already aware of you then they’ll know if they want to speak to you.

Are Calling or Email The Only Options?

Well no! If you can use your existing network of contacts to make an introduction for you, then you could be up to five times more likely to get engagement from your prospect.

If you don’t have a shared connection, then check out their social media presence. If they’re active on LinkedIn or Twitter or Instagram then use these platforms to start adding value. Have a look at this article for tips on how to use LinkedIn as part of your sales strategy.

Are you struggling to engage with new prospects? Check out our sales training options, or get in touch for an exploratory chat.

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