How To Ask For Your Client's Email Address

Posted by David Chism | Mon, Feb 1, 2010

It can be a rather daunt­ing task for con­trac­tors who have a large cus­tomer base to call and ask for an email address. Have you ever tried it? I am sure you are main­ly hear the fol­low­ing, I’d rather not share my email address” or No thanks. I’m not inter­est­ed in giv­ing it out.” Are you going to sell my email address?” Sound famil­iar? Most home­own­ers do not want to give out their email address because they assume their email address will be sold or used to get junk mail. Why do they think this? Because it is what they’ve been told from their friends, Don’t ever share your per­son­al email address with a busi­ness or you’ll be spammed for life.” Now, we all know that we as hon­est con­trac­tors will not spam our cus­tomers or sell their email address­es. I have yet to meet a qual­i­ty con­trac­tor that has done such a stu­pid thing. So what do we do about this prob­lem? I have a few sim­ple sug­ges­tions that work almost 100% of the time. Almost every ser­vice con­trac­tor today would pre­fer email over mail­ing an esti­mate. So ask­ing for an email address should be rather sim­ple. The resis­tance from prospects and cus­tomers comes from the con­trac­tor not ask­ing for the email the right way. Instead of say­ing, Can I have your email address please?” Try this approach, Our esti­ma­tor will be email­ing your esti­mate. What would be the best email you’d like me to give to our esti­ma­tor?” When I’ve used this ques­tion, I almost have nev­er received a No thank you…I’d rather not share an email with you…” Let’s face it. Almost every home­own­er has at least 2 email address­es if not a half dozen. Ask­ing for the email in a pos­i­tive sit­u­a­tion pro­duces good results.  Sev­er­al con­trac­tors have asked me, What if it is not a lead or sales call. Then what? How do I get my exist­ing cus­tomers to give me their email address?” This is a lit­tle more tricky. You can try mail­ing them a post card say­ing that you are updat­ing your data­base, but I don’t think you’ll get much of a response. The best way is to get on the phone and call ever cus­tomer. It is time con­sum­ing, but I believe you’ll get a 75%+ response rate and might even close a few jobs. When call­ing them say some­thing like, In the future our esti­ma­tor will be email­ing your esti­mates to you. I’m call­ing to see if you have a pre­ferred email address you’d like to put on your file. Don’t wor­ry, we won’t sell your email address (don’t for­get to smile a bit when you say this part)!” or In an effort to be more green, we will be using email as a way to com­mu­ni­cate more in the future. What would be the best email to have on file?”

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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