Can a phone call make or break a sale?

Emails are all very well, and of course you can send them any time of the day or night which is convenient, but a phone call can cut through a lot of time and build relationships much quicker. Here are 2 great examples of well-timed phone calls which resulted in successful outcomes.

Example 1: Call to clarify

I’m working on a new website project for a client, and we decided to contact 3 design agencies that were all known to the website committee but all had different styles. We put together a standard brief and sent it out to all 3 with a request to come back with a proposal and some idea of how they would approach the project.

One of them called me on the phone within 5 minutes of getting the brief to discuss it in more detail. One emailed me a few days later to request some more information. The final one emailed me a week later to say that they would be submitting their proposal by the deadline.

When it came to the deadline, all 3 provided quotes and ideas but the one that stood out as the most creative and well thought through solution was the one that picked up the phone.

Would it have made a difference if they had all phoned? Who knows, but it just set them apart from the outset, and the resulting pitch was more accurate because they had clarified and questioned the brief.

Example 2: Call to follow up

I had an email from a lady who was setting up a new business – she outlined her services in a personal email which was friendly, to the point and not too long. I didn’t do anything about it but a few days later I had a phone call from her. Again, it wasn’t too ‘salesy’ – just a friendly outline of the services she could offer and to find out if it was something I might be interested in.

Without the phone call, I probably would have simply deleted the email, but the fact that she followed it up meant that I took the time to look at her website, have now kept her details and will remember her.

The moral of the story?

A phone call will give you the opportunity to find out more, build a relationship and clarify things that could be open to interpretation.

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