By Gary Walker, EVP of Channel Sales & Operations, CustomerCentric Selling® The Sales Training Company

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

“I’ve heard about Thunder and Lightning.  What is it?”

Tell me if this, or something like this, has ever happened to you.  You’re sitting at your desk working on a project or assignment when you realize that you don’t have all of the information you need to continue. You ask yourself how you can get the information quickly, then it dawns on you that one of your coworkers has the information you need. You quickly pick up your telephone and dial his number.  It rings, rings, rings and you finally receive a voicemail greeting advising you that your coworker is not available, inviting you to leave a voicemail following the beep.  Disappointed, you leave your message: “John, it’s Gary.  I’m 0-thunder-lightningworking on a project against a deadline.  You have information that I need in order to complete it.  Please call me as soon as you get this message.”  Concerned that John may not check his voice messages or that he is out of the office, you draft a quick email:  “John, I don’t know if you’re in your office, but I just called and finished leaving you a voice message.  I’m working on a project, trying to meet a deadline, and you have critical information that I need in order to complete it.  Please call me as soon as you get this message.”  You press “Send.”   Remaining concerned, you sit back in your chair and begin thinking about how to proceed without the needed information when all of a sudden your phone rings.  It’s John: “Sorry I wasn’t available when you called; I was tied up.  However, I just saw your email message and wanted to get back to you.  What information are you looking for?”

I’m going to assume that the scenario I just described (working on a project, missing information) is not identical to what you may have experienced.  But perhaps you’ve needed to speak with someone, a prospect, placed a telephone call, left a voice message, and then concerned that your voice message may not be retrieved, sent off a quick email – and within seconds you received a telephone call or email from the person you were trying to reach.  Has this ever happened to you?

I call this method of using the telephone and email synchronously, “Thunder and Lightning.” You’ve heard the expression, “The whole is greater than the sum of it parts.”  This is a perfect example.  You will find that when you leave a carefully crafted, short telephone script, followed instantly and synchronously with an aligned and carefully crafted email, your ability to get your prospect to engage with you improves exponentially.  Go ahead, try it and see.

sales training workshops