To demonstrate just how important this can be, here is one example of how picking up the telephone helped me to do a lot more business than I might have otherwise.
I recently received an email which said:
Dear Bruce – thank you for the sales training session you conducted for us two weeks ago. I am pleased to say that several of the team have increased their sales by more than 50% since then. I’ll be in touch later in the year, probably around September to organise another session.
I could have responded with a note thanking them for thanking me, and saying I was looking forward to hearing from them later in the year. Instead I picked up the telephone and had a conversation. I asked several questions including (but not exclusively):
What were the most important points the team learned?
Which had the biggest impact on their sales so far?
What else that we covered in the session should they be implementing that they have not done yet?
Do you think they need more coaching on those subjects sooner?
What other companies do you have contact with who may also be experiencing a challenge with the sales team meeting or exceeding their targets?
Would you mind very much introducing me to them?
The result of that conversation was that we brought forward the next training session five months to May and I also received referrals to two other companies, one of which has already booked me.
My advice to you: Consider each email you receive carefully and ask yourself whether or not picking up the telephone and having a conversation would enhance the relationship, create other opportunities immediately or in the future and turn the conversation into a sales (and referrals) opportunity.