When all of us started in sales, one of the first things we learned was to pick up the phone to schedule appointments. Even better, we were encouraged to get out of the office and meet the potential client in person, right? As we moved into management, we asked our sales team to go on cold calls. They were scary, but when they turned into an order, oh so rewarding! Talking or meeting in person with people was so important to our business.

Why is it then, when our managers are trying to recruit, they are so hesitant to pick up the phone? Unfortunately, many of us prefer to just send an email and if it doesn’t get answered, assume that this is a dead end lead. I can’t imagine a sales manager accepting that answer from a seller. I seem to remember a number like 20 attempts before you would give up and pass the lead to another seller.

Today we have the lowest unemployment rate that many businesses have ever seen, it’s the lowest in decades. To keep our revenue increasing, we need to keep a quality sales team at all times. To do that it is crucial to build a pipeline of prospective candidates, who at some point can either be considered to fill an open opportunity OR who can refer other qualified prospects to us. A relationship needs to be built with that prospect, just as you would build with a potential new client.

When you have a lead on someone, don’t wait on email. Pick up the phone and start a friendly conversation. Remember your Customer Needs Analysis and use it on prospective candidates. Don’t go right for the close until you have more facts and they are sold on the opportunity. If they don’t answer, leave a message asking them to call you back. Or, let them know you will be calling them back. Take control.

Emails can get into the wrong folders, can go into spam or for some reason not get delivered at all. Emails cannot share warmth, personality or tone like a phone call or in-person meeting.

So…managers who are looking to add new employees today or in the future, start being more proactive and practice what you preach to your sellers. Don’t rely on email. Get together in person or via phone, once the relationship has started, it’s fine to communicate with email, again, after you’ve begun a relationship.