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Wednesday, 24 March 2021

5 Ways to Find Out to Call Or Email When Selling to a Prospect in Malaysia


Your first impression will set the tone for your entire sales and negotiation outcome. There are conflicting pressures to productively make first contact with a prospect. You want to reach out enthusiasticly but you don't want to do it in an obstructive manner. Productively making first contact with any prospect is a delicate art for sales reps.

How you reach out to your prospects during the first connect makes a significant difference in response rates. The key to deciding which method to use depends on which method you feel your prospect will be most responsive to.

What's the difference between a cold email vs. a cold call?


Cold emails vs. cold calls are both effective. The difference is a matter of volume, convenience and directness. Emails are easier and less time consuming than calls, but calls are more effective when gathering a direct reponse. It's also easier to convey emotion during a call compared to a written email.

A call is inherently more personal than an email. It gets an immediate response and let's you address a prospect saying no. Calls are also more dynamic as it allows you to adjust your strategy to fit a prospect's needs as your conversation with them progresses.

However, calls do have some downsides. They are by nature intrusive. People are usually not receptive to receiving them and many will get frustrated when you use one to reach them. There's also a chance that you may get frustrated / impatient during a call when it isn't going smoothly.

Emails on the other hand lends a different strategy. They are more efficient and make it more scalable. In the time it would take to make a single call you could distribute several emails to several people. There's also an opportunity to be more visually appealing and informative with targeted content. Emails are also less intrusive and recipients tend to be more polite in their response. Emails can also be automated, tracked, and forwarded, making it easier to distribute and keep tabs on.

Emails have a downside as well. It's the risk of having your emails ignored. Some prospects receive many emails every day, and in some cases your email may also get blocked. 

To help you decide if you should reach out through phone or email, here are 5 tried and tested ways to find out whether to use a call or email when selling to a prospect for the first time in Malaysia.

1. Time / Day of the Week


Statistically phone connection rates increases as the day progresses and as the week progresses. In other words a prospect is more likely to answer their phone later in the workday and workweek. If someone doesn't reply leave a voicemail. Calling late usually is a great strategy.

2. The Ask


What's your objective for your first outreach? Is it to set up a meeting? Get some more information? Receive a referral? Categorize what you are asking for as "weak" or "strong" will help you to determine to choose between a call or email.

Strong asks require commitment and if it's a strong request you should always pick up the phone. This requires more from the prospect and you may need to employ sales skills to secure a "yes". On the other hand if the ask is weak. Draft an email. Don't let fear block you from connecting with a buyer. Reverse this equation and watch your response rates climb.

3. The Level of the Prospect


Do individual contributors have assistants? Not usually. but do C-level executives? Almost always. That is why the higher up your prospect is in an organization the more likely you are to reach a live person when you call. If individual contributors don't answer their phones, no one else is going to pick up - and they're not likely to return a call from an unknown number.

4. The Buyer Persona


Some buyer personas favor a different communication style than others. Preferences are dependent on multiple factors such as, age, nature of job, their industry, and more. Millennials prefer to communicate via email but professionals in customer-facing roles are more amenable to speaking on the phone.

5. The Deal Momentum


Are things moving along at a swift cadence? If this is so then you should not stall your deal an email will not get in the way. However, if your prospect is unresponsive or on the fence it might be faster and easier to pick up the phone.

Conclusion


Follow up. If you follow the criterias above you should be able to choose between email and a call. In our opinion, the beginning and the end of each sales engagement should be phone-heavy, since that's where the strongest asks are and in between email should work as a rule of thumb.

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