EMAIL PITCHING OR COLD CALLING?

Sharing a few photos from a late summer evening out with me in the old city of Genova, Italy. 

Email Pitching or Cold Calling?

Which alternative of these two is the ultimate one? Not so uncommonly, this is a question many sellers face when realizing they need to reach out to potential clients and set up either a meeting or sell right away. After my fair experience in different areas as a saleswoman, I think I am ready to share my opinions on this matter. 

Obviously there are cons and pros with both, with the ability to switch one of the cons into the other’s pros. So, here it goes. 

Email Pitching Pros

    • Timesaving. Reaching out to more in less time.
    • Better choice when scared of calling by phone.
    • Afraid of conflict.
    • We are better in written format than by speech.
    • Socially scared.
    • We can take our time in figuring out a decent reply to whatever they answer.
    • The prospect may read this when it suits the person.
    • We can get a positive respond a long time ahead when the potential client feels ready to meet us.
  • Chances are higher they snap up every little detail in our written format rather than hearing a salesperson’s voice through phone.

Email Pitching Cons

    • A no is harder to change.
    • When receiving a dismissing response, we may not know the reason why and how we can improve when reaching out to the next one on our list.
    • If sent out to a great mass and there is the slightest grammar mistake or typo of any kind, every single email may contain it. Also, requires much attention to write correct spelling in names and such matters we regard.
    • The email account can get marked as spam if used incorrectly. (Which is rather easy when sending out a massive amount of emails to different people. Annoy a few and it is marked).
    • Email pitching requires a certain mysterious yet informative talent when writing the pitch. (Perhaps we can get into that in another post?).
    • There is a risk that we will not get any kind of response back at all.
    • If our company has a bad reputation, it will be greatly shown when the curious prospect googles the company.
  • The prospect may forget about responding as it is busy and suddenly the email gets deleted by mistake.

Cold Calling Pros

    • We speak directly to the prospect and get an image of the person by its voice.
    • A chance to manage convincing the person when he or she tries to dismiss us.
    • In cases of dismissal, finding out when or how we can contact them again.
    • Letting us know who the person we shall contact is, if he or she is not the correct person. Perhaps even if someone is on vacation and when we can expect to be able to reach the person at work.
    • Sharing a friendly conversation and grow a ”personal” relationship – also known as, getting a like.
    • This is personal for me, but I get energy from speaking with people.
  • We are amazing speakers with a pleasant tone and voice, gaining attention. This is our call.

Cold Calling Cons

    • It is time consuming.
    • Every time we pick up the phone we inwardly cringe and literally hate it.
    • Simply we are not a good enough speaker.
    • Not quick enough to come up with spot on replies.
    • Not comfortable or have skills enough to turn the prospect’s nos into yeses.
    • The prospect might be totally busy and therefore do not listen to what great words we really tell them. They may have been interested on another day but are totally in a bad mood this particular moment when we called.
    • They forget who we are five seconds after hanging up and will not remember our services two days after when realizing it is precisely what they need for their company.
    • They mark us as a seller at once and do not want to continue hearing because of the bad reputation many sellers has dragged down into the mud. Therefore believing we only want to fool them.
    • They get no chance to regret their response by checking up what we really are about before agreeing to meeting us/buying from us.
  • Gatekeepers that refuse letting us pass.

Just a few mentioned in each category. Surely there are tons of positive views and negative views on each. Some people urge that cold calling is timeless. It always works and always will work. That it will remain the best way to reach out to new potential clients.

On another hand. Some bosses believe email pitching is the new revolutionary thing in technology and that cold calling is as good as dead. They think this is the kinder version to costumers and that every seller manages to get the word out to more costumers.

So really – what is my personal opinion?

Many buildings appear like coming straight out of a movie. 

My Story

I have worked as a door to door salesman. It was fun, I learned to become quick-witted and rather ballsy. Utterly daring and outgoing, totally crushing my reputation as a shy girl and I loved every moment spent on work. Interacting with clients was fun and every car ride out to a neighborhood left me with a rushing wave of happiness.

Back in my home country I figured out one thing. I quickly knew working within telemarketing would not be something for me. Sitting beside a phone in front of a computer or notebook, dialing calls every hour awake to talk, talk and talk. Because my voice has never been my greatest strength. I do not want to sit here and say my tone sucks, but rather that my writing skills and interacting face to face are two of my attributes I know give higher results. Thereof the analyzed decision to actually become a door to door salesman.

As I later chose my work at this commercial real estate firm, working for their database – my responsibility was to be ”head” responsible for expanding the department regarding all suppliers getting involved when a company moves. I never want to speak bad of an employment, so this was just a mere misunderstanding during our interviews. Probably because my boss was an amazing talker in the phone and that it never crossed his mind that everybody clearly is not. Me included. So when I brought up the question if I would work as a ”booker”, or had to pitch on phone, I got the reply no. Feeling relieved after the clear words ”You will simply head from meeting to meeting holding a business presentation,” I thought, ”This sounds too good to be true. How easy!”. Well, it was kind of too good to be true. – Also a note to why I will ask straight for what responses and expectations employers will have for me before signing contracts in the future.

Rather quickly it came out that those meetings would be appointments I would book for myself. Alright. With a twitched nose I examined the front-page of Google and realized I would have to find every single client myself. And contact them. My boss wanted me to call them. As I tried so, clearly outside my comfort zone, I was taken as a salesman the prospect absolutely did not want anything to do with. I tried, I tried and I tried. I got an appointment here and there but it was simply not working. I tried to find some coaching and eventually turned to my boyfriend for advice (as he literally is the best motivating coach with good inputs when it comes to sales as a person possibly can be).

Doing these calls over and over again, fearing dismissals (as I struggle with fearing failure…) I was yet determined I would make this, that I would succeed. That is how I work. Whatever mission I take under my arms is something I am determined to finish, following the saying “Don’t start what you can’t finish.” However this was not a working strategy from my part and I decided to send out a few emails. Just a few. I googled around for good information in how to shape the pitch email and eventually I got my first respond.

I remember the shock on my face as I returned from the office room surrounded by glass, completely silent to shut out any noise and any other chatting seller. This time my heart raced as I saw the notification and surely, a prospect wanted to set an appointment with me! Instead of jumping around the office yelling ”I told you so!” I was quick to analyze what I did right here. Why did this particular client answer and how can I repeat receiving yeses? Soon I found my perfect email pitch and sent it out, turning my rate of getting a yes by every 7th phone call to get a yes from 75-90% of all emails I sent out.

Soon I had gotten courage enough to even dial the rest 10-25% and wonder why they had not answered or why they said no, sometimes leading to another appointment anyhow. My confidence was on top and suddenly I began filling my calendar with meetings. Talk about feeling proud as I did right then and there.

The funniest part was a particular one. I had called him probably around five times by this time in late spring. I had tried so many times to tell him that I wanted to set up a business meeting with him. Rather rudely, he neglected me each time and rarely let me finish. When coming out from an appointment I see not only the response from him to my email, but that he had called me three times! He wanted an appointment with me that badly! The person who was rude to me, that I had begged to meet five times now suddenly almost took a cab straight to my office just to see me?!

One time later at the day we had planned on having a meeting, he showed me around the company. Which in fact most of the clients do when I am welcomed to their office, building or factory. The grand tour, so to speak, when they show everything and I get a few samples of coffee, furniture advice or office items to bring home with me. Not only was the appointment a true success, me totally clicking with the owners, the CEO and the head of marketing in this conference room. One of them even drove me back to my office in his private car. Right then when jumping out of it, I thought of how ironical the scenario turned from being unpleasant to a complete positive and happy success. Just because I actually tried a different way. The email pitch.

My Conclusion

My opinion is that every salesperson should take a few moments to think about which parts of us that are the strongest. Ask ourselves: What am I good at, and what am I less good at? The reason is not to never do what we are bad at, but simply knowing where to focus for ultimate result – if that is the goal. Another thing can be to try out both ways to see which fits the seller the best. It may not always be the one he or she thinks. Additionally I would like to say that an excellent coach may be to good help and make a seller confident in one of the areas if he or she feels unsure about emails/calling. A good coach is also crucial for success.

For me, it ended up with emails when reaching out to absolute new clients and phone calls when re-connecting with them. If I really needed a meeting quickly and I had no time to wait for a response, then I would just pick up the phone and dial until the hour I had free was set. Simple as that. My actual strong thinking is that we should not be conservative here and say that one way is the right way. Really, try both in each situation as to what fits us. Also, looking over what type of costumer we are contacting can be a good idea. An IT company may spend more time in front of a computer (making them look over emails more AND even prefer getting an email rather than a pushing seller on the phone) than a marketing boss of an event bureau who just loves to talk to people straight away. Do we see the point?

I hope this helped you out if you were this confused salesman or saleswoman wondering what your call was. Analyze your skills and try out both ways until you know what works for you!

Love, Emelena

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