Email has LOST more sales than it’s won.

When our current salesperson came into the role, she was good—but even she knew there was room for improvement.

Because she embraces our culture of asking questions, she came to me wanting to know how she could increase her close rate.

“Pick up the phone,” I told her. “You’re never going to close a high-value deal by email.”

By the time the internet and email really took hold (showing my age), I was already deep into my sales career.

All my deals and closes came by way of meeting people in person or talking to them on the phone—because I didn’t have a choice. Email really wasn’t a thing in sales then.

And I’m glad it wasn’t.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—no matter how great a writer you think you are, words on a screen are just words on a screen.

If I pick up the phone and talk to someone, there is so much I can learn—immediately.

I can hear if they pause. I can hear inflection points in their voice. I can hear their anxiety and concern. I can hear every nuance.

And if I have the luxury of being there in person, I can see their facial expressions and body language.

Maybe most important—if they push back or have questions about anything I have to say, I can respond in real-time.

That’s where being able to hear someone’s tone of voice is CRITICAL—and not just my prospect’s voice. They need to be able to hear mine, as well.

It’s so easy to misinterpret tone in an email. A comma in the wrong place, an exclamation point instead of a period—hell, even the way you structure your greeting can send the wrong message, all by accident.

So many of our Tribe members, particularly our newest ones, have come from corporate environments where they’ve been instructed—even encouraged—to have all business interactions via email.

In some ways, I get it. Corporate life, especially nowadays, is a “cover your ass” culture. If it wasn’t documented, it didn’t happen.

Besides being ineffective, it’s cold. It’s transactional. There’s no relationship being established—especially if your words on the screen are taken the wrong way.

You can still CYA. I make it a practice to follow up every phone conversation with an email, and we coach our Tribe members to do the same.

It’s not about protecting ourselves. It is “clarity is kindness” in action. It ensures that what we discussed on that call is captured for reference and to ensure that what we talked about was clear.

Those emails are always well received.

It’s not that email doesn’t have its place in business—it does—but as a supplement.

No one is going to read a five-minute-long email, but they WILL have a five-minute conversation with you.

Nothing is better than on the phone or face to face. Real human interaction.

When I asked our salesperson how long it took her to see results calling her prospects?

“Immediately,” she said. “And it only got better the more I did it.”

She started winning more than losing—by picking up the phone.