Questions are a powerful tool to gain more knowledge about prospects, clients, their businesses, and their industries. But, one of the keys to successful questions is knowing how to ask them. With so many communication tools available, it can be easy to fall into the rut of shooting out a quick email with a question. Doing so, though, may not be in your best interest. HubSpot writer Jeff Hoffman explains that too many reps use email for convenience, but some questions are best asked during a live conversation.
“…with more touchpoints comes the tendency to substitute email conversations for phone calls,” he writes. “Emails won’t further your relationship with prospects, so save them for answering mundane questions and sharing contracts.” He goes on to share four questions that reps should keep out of emails and instead, ask over the phone or in-person. Below is one of the questions he highlights:
“Can I give you a call?”
You may think you’re being thoughtful by asking this question but closing for a number shouldn’t be done via email. In fact, if you find yourself doing this, Hoffman believes you are asking too late. “In my experience, asking for a cell phone number prior to the first meeting yields a 60% success rate because prospects don’t want to put their first meeting with you in jeopardy,” he writes. If you ask for a number after that first meeting, your success rate drops to 15 percent.
If you find yourself asking prospects for their numbers via email, it’s time to rethink your strategy. During a first meeting, immediately ask; if you need an ice breaker, offer yours first. “This conversation tactic also establishes you’re not afraid to ask for what you want — an excellent way to position yourself to a prospect,” he points out.
After reading his other three questions, think about if you ever ask those questions in an email. If you do, consider his suggested alternatives. Questions are so important, and you want them to be as effective as possible. Plus, a quality prospect will want to communicate with you by phone or in-person, as avoidance is easier with emails.