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It takes a lot of email messages to make up a single telephone conversation. I don’t have a mathematical formula, but my guess is that if the conversation is of some small importance, 11 email messages may make up a single, short telephone conversation. If the conversation is seriously important, the number of emails rises proportionally. Why? It’s the wrong medium for the exchange.

Oh, you’d rather email someone than bother them with a phone call? It’s bothering someone to have to respond to five emails about the same subject.

If it takes a lot of email messages to make up a single telephone call, what’s the math on a face-to-face conversation? If I had to guess, it might be something close to 63 email messages to make up single face-to-face conversation. And the communication, even though it’s in writing, is poorer.

The need to have whole conversations over “mail” ended with the invention of the telephone. Email is very much like postal mail. You wouldn’t want to have an important conversation over mail, would you? It would take too long, and it would lose something, wouldn’t it? Email is even more like a telegraph.

How to Decide to Use Email

Email is excellent when you need to send information to another party. It’s also excellent when you need an answer that doesn’t require any real conversation.

Email is a poor medium when the topic is important or when a discussion is necessary (like your proposal and pricing). It’s a horrible medium for resolving issues, problems, or challenges. It’s also a horrible medium for many of the sales conversations that are attempted through email.

Are you sharing information? Need a quick, easy answer? Nothing easily lost in translation? Send an email.

Important issue or request? Requires dialogue? Much of what needs to be communicated can’t (or won’t) be communicated effectively over email? Schedule a face-to-face meeting, a video chat, or a phone conversation (in that order).

Sales 2013
Post by Anthony Iannarino on November 17, 2013

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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