By Mark Richardson. A: There are two times when that's appropriate: The first is when you don't give a hoot if you get the job or not. The second, when it's almost impossible to meet with the clients face to face, such as, for example, if they're traveling and want the work done before they get back.

But what if the prospect asks to have the proposal faxed? I was on a sales call recently with two salespeople from the same company. Both were asked to do just that. One requested the fax number. The other declined, prompting the lady of the house to ask, "You want to present it in person, don't you?" Who do you think has the better odds of getting the job?

Use fax machines and e-mails to communicate before you present an agreement and in selection and construction afterward. But at sale time, there is no substitute for getting in front of your prospects. A good salesperson makes his or her proposals in person. If the prospects are going to say no, at least make them say it to your face. --Phil Rea is president of Phil Rea and Associates, a firm offering sales consulting, motivational speaking, and a monthly newsletter. (866) 441-7445;