The Role of Email in Sales Prospecting

We call it cold calling for a reason, as salespeople understand the importance of a live conversation. However, email does play a role in sales prospecting and can support your efforts to have a prospect engaged in a sales conversation.

Here is an example of a good use of email in prospecting.

Email #1 – follow up to a phone call in which the buyer did not want to talk.

Hi Leonardo,

We spoke briefly just now (sorry I caught you at a bad time!).

As I mentioned, we’ve received your request and I wanted to give you a quick call to discuss.

Please let me know what’s a good time to reach you.



Leonardo’s response

Hi Sonja,

We have an on-premises setup of ELK, we are streaming our host and application logs here. The deployment is of roughly 17TB, we are ingesting about 150GB per day. We are considering having this ELK managed to help us scale. Please let me know what else you need from us, I would rather keep the conversation over email for now.


Email #2 – how Sonja got the meeting.

Hi Leonardo,

Thanks for explaining a little about your current deployment.

It sounds that one of the issues you’re looking to resolve is with scaling. While ELK at scale is an area we provide a solution in, as we don’t yet fully understand your requirements, it’s not clear at this stage that we’re even a fit.

We need to have a call to assess the fit, and we have availability tomorrow at 3:00 PM CET and on Monday at 11:00 AM or 4:00 PM.

It does seem however that you’re very busy at present and this might not be a top priority for you, in which case feel free to get back to us when appropriate.

Kind regards,


Leonardo’s response

Hi Sonja,

Thanks for your prompt reply, if you really feel a call is needed I could do tomorrow at 3:00 PM CEST. Let me know if that works for you.


Key aspects to note:

  1. Sonja called first.
  2. Sonja emailed after the call was unsuccessful.
  3. Her email pulled to the left and landed a meeting.
  4. This reluctance to talk to salespeople is common, of course.
  5. It is most common when different languages are involved. People are uncomfortable speaking in a language with which they do not feel fluent. It takes about two minutes of talk time to overcome that initial discomfort, and then it is greatly diminished.
  6. The way Sonja handled this is in Leonardo’s best interest, and Sonja’s.

It is my rule to use email only with permission. That said, with permission, email is incredibly effective.