Sending A Following Up On Our Conversation Email

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

follow up
 
Have you ever heard of the statistic that says that 48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect? Yes, it’s fake, but still, most salespeople are bad at following up.

There are a lot of sales follow up statistics that can show you just how bad salespeople are with the follow up.

Why is this? There could be so many reasons to answer that question ranging from fear of rejection through to laziness. It could be because of skill or will.

So, let’s take a look at how to write a decent follow up email that will get some action – after all, the worst thing that can happen is for you to be ghosted.

Following Up On Our Conversation

The salespeople who are not good at follow up normally ignore five crucial yet not so obvious rules.

Let’s check them out!

1. Assertiveness wins

So many salespeople keep “just checking” and “touching base”. They believe that it makes them come out as relaxed and not pushy when, in truth, it makes them come out as shy and unfocused.

Your job is to make the sale easy for your prospect, so you shouldn’t be “Just checking in”. Especially if they already showed interest in your product; you should be asking where the situation’s at and if they’re ready to move further.
Here’s an example of what you could write:

Subject: Hi {{prospect_firstname}}, what’s next?

Hi {{prospect_firstname}},

I’m following up on our conversation about [INSERT YOUR PRODUCT NAME].

We at {{user_company_name}} are really excited about working with you! What do you suggest as the next step, if any?

Thanks in advance,

[Signature]

By giving the prospect ownership of the process, you significantly increase the chances of them taking action to move the process forwards.

Also, sales is a two-way street and putting some responsibility on your prospect helps to lock their commitment, which is primordial to pursue a healthy business relationship.

2. Value is key

As you very well know, some prospects are harder to convince than others and more often than not, indecision tends to find its way into the process.

This is when you deliver value.

‘How we sell is a sample of how we solve, and prospects are sampling our value on each and every encounter.’ – James Muir

Tamara Schenk, research director at CSO Insights wrote in an in-depth article that you should resort to “value hypotheses”. Those hypotheses are used to address your prospect’s current pains and encourage them to make change for the better.

According to her, you need to help your prospect learn something new that helps them understand the real impact of their problem. They should learn how they can solve the issue and what results they could achieve.

How are you supposed to do that?

• Case studies
• Success stories
• Referrals

Those are powerful because they show how other customers, or other people approached similar situations successfully, ideally with measurable results.

3. Take enough steps

According to research at Overloop, 5 steps is the sweet spot when it comes to setting up a cold email campaign. Their largest cold outreach campaign was sent to 1,792 prospects. 34% of their replies came from the fourth email alone. 38% came from the last two emails.

In total, that campaign brought them their first 144 customers.

See where I’m going? Don’t leave money on the table!

Nurture your lead and persevere.

If after the designated number of steps, you’re not getting anywhere, ask if it’s okay to get in touch a few months later.

450 sales questions free report

4. Audacity

A bit of audacity is a great way to attract attention and leave the competition far behind. It doesn’t have to be game changing; it simply must go beyond the ordinary and demonstrate interest in your prospect.

For example, the sales team Xpenditure likes to cold email and follow up by including personalised videos in their message. It stands out and brings a unique level of personalisation!

Are you organising an event? Good, invite them as a VIP. You think they could bring something to it? Ask them to be a guest speaker!

Asking for favours actually makes you likable. This technique was well used by United States founding Father Ben Franklin in order to bring a rival legislator to his side.

As Charlie Liang would say, it’s not about making mini minions out of everyone around you but leveraging empathy!

Also, who doesn’t like to be wished a happy birthday? Don’t be a stalker about it, but if your prospect’s birthday is easily accessible to you through LinkedIn for example, put a reminder in your calendar and send them a personalised email. How many of their business partners take the time and effort to wish them a happy one?

5. Make it a system

Take that advice and apply it systematically to every interaction with a prospect. Better yet, automate it. Find yourself the right sales automation tool and schedule drip campaigns with automatic follow-ups.

email icon
 

Writing A Follow Up Email

So many sales professionals ask us to assist them in writing emails to their prospects that we sometimes think we should devote all our time and attention to this one area in our Selling Skills Training courses.

It’s natural to want to contact prospects and show them how your world-changing products can make them successful.

Why wouldn’t a prospect want your stunning range of products to make them incredible profits or enjoy life to the full?

So, why won’t they reply to your emails?

Well, to state the obvious, not every prospect will want what you have at this moment in time. They have their own business to take care of, and an email from you trying to sell them your services isn’t always going to make them drop everything and beat a path to your door.

So, what’s the best way to follow up after an initial contact?

Be professional and make it worth their while contacting you back.

Here’s an example:

Subject: Hi {{prospect_firstname}}, here’s the information I promised

Hi {{prospect_firstname}},

Thanks for taking my phone call (or for the meeting) today, and I enjoyed learning about your role at {{user_company_name}}

I understand the challenges you are facing with (whatever it was) and the effect they are having on your business.

As we discussed, I have attached a link to the resources and materials that can help you better understand how we can help you solve (those specific challenges).

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Otherwise, I look forward to talking with you again on (date and time).

Many thanks

[Signature]

It allows the person to contact you if desired and gets them to see the benefits of your services through the link to your resources.

How about if there’s still no response?

Keep on adding value to each follow-up, so the prospect can see what they are missing by not replying to you.
Another example:

Subject: RE: Hi {{prospect_firstname}}, here’s the information I promised

Hi {{prospect_firstname}},,

I’m just following up on {{whatever content you sent during your first follow up}}

Most of my clients have found numbers four and five to be very effective.

I have also attached a copy of our latest report on Dealing With Absences. I know you’ll find it interesting.

I’d like to find out your opinions on the ideas discussed.

Give me a call back to schedule at {{phone number}} or send just reply to this email.

I’ll make a note in my diary to catch up with you again if I don’t hear from you.

Thanks in anticipation

[Signature]

You’ll see hear that you have increased the value of the prospect dealing with you.

You’ve added another free report or piece of information and have offered a chance for them to contact you, or for you to follow up again.

But what if you’ve had no response at all.

Should you give up?

Well, try connecting in some other way before dropping this prospect.

They may respond on LinkedIn rather than on email, or maybe through some other social media channel. Our Social Selling Training can show you several techniques to use LinkedIn to your advantage.

It’s possible your emails have gone into their spam folder, so another avenue of contact may get through.

What should you do if you’ve continually got no response from a prospect that you thought was a certainty for a meeting?

One last attempt could be made with a ‘break-up’ email.

This is simply a message saying thanks for their interest, but you won’t be contacting them anymore, unless they contact you through email or phone.

This allows them that last chance to improve profits or productivity or save money or whatever your services offer their business.

With no further response from them, you can move onto businesses that would really benefit from your services.

So, be professional in your sales follow-ups, offer added value at every step and work on improving your email connection at every step.

If you are interested in taking some Sales Training we have several different options that can help you including Telesales Training and also our Sales Assessment diagnostic tools.

Happy Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

Sales DNA

Originally published: 21 September, 2017



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