Sales rarely happen the first time you speak with a prospect. According to Marketing Donut, “only 2% of sales occur at the first meeting.”
This means that 98% of sales are made after reps follow-up with their prospective customers. Clearly, successful sales teams must have an effective follow-up strategy.
There are many ways to follow-up with a prospect, but the most common are:
- Phone calls
- In-person meetings (e.g. stopping by their office)
And depending on the relationship and method used to retrieve their contact info, you could even follow-up through social media – LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger – or a text message.
Today, we’re going to focus on sales follow-up emails. First, we’ll show you four reasons to send follow-up emails. Then, we’ll discuss the six elements of a good follow-up email so your prospects read, respond and act on your advice.
By using the advice below to improve your follow-up emails, you’ll be able to recapture your prospects’ attention and close more sales.
4 Reasons to Send Follow-up Emails
Never send a follow-up email without a reason. Otherwise, the prospect will think you’re trying to sell them something they don’t need. Instead, have a good reason for reaching out.
These four trigger events are the most common reasons to send follow-up sales emails:
1. When You Need to Investigate
If someone reaches out to your company to get information about a product or service, you can send a follow-up email to learn more about their situation.
- What problem do they need to solve?
- Is this for them, or are they calling on another person’s behalf?
- Did your company answer all the questions they had?
During the investigation, you’re showing the prospect that you want to learn more about their situation to see if you can help them, not that you’re not trying to sell them anything.
2. After Speaking on the Phone
It’s a good idea to email prospective clients after speaking on the phone. You can send valuable information that they easily could’ve forgotten from the phone call, and the email reminds them to think about moving ahead with your services.
3. After a Meeting
Just as you want to email a prospect after speaking to them, you want to send an email after meeting them in person, too. It shows that you haven’t forgotten them and may be able to help them achieve their goals.
Since you’ll leave many sales meetings without closing the deal, a good follow-up email is critical to increasing your close rate.
4. When a Prospects Goes Cold
Prospects who have “gone cold” or “fallen off the map” are still potential customers. Sending a follow-up email can recapture their interest and lead to a sale.
Now that you know when to send follow-up emails to your leads, we’re going to show you how to make your outreach emails great.
6 Elements of a Good Sales Follow-up Email
This isn’t email marketing or cold emailing where you blast the same message to everyone your email list. These emails should reignite the previous connection you made and remind the prospect how you can help them.
When you send a personal email, it tells the prospect that you understand their unique situation and that you think you can help. When it’s impersonal, they’ll think you’re trying to sell them something they don’t need.
With that in mind, let’s go through the six elements of a good sales follow-up email:
1. Exude Enthusiasm
From the subject line to the postscript, every part of your email should have good, positive energy.
You want to show optimism in the future and excitement from your last conversation. Here’s an example to show you what we mean:
“Hey Sandra, it was a pleasure meeting you on Thursday. You’re doing really interesting work in the airline industry and I enjoyed learning about it. It’s been on my mind, and I think that we may have a way to increase your sales by roughly twenty to thirty percent based on your current lead generation process. I’d love to talk more and see if this is a real possibility.”
As you can see, it’s possible to be enthusiastic without gushing and being over-the-top. You want to be honest with your prospects, but be positive and optimistic too.
2. Be the Authority
You know your products and services better than any of your prospects as well as how they work and what they can accomplish. Display that confidence and certainty in your emails.
You can be enthusiastic while maintaining authority. Remember, you have a solution to their problem. Sure, it may be your job to learn about their situation and understand their circumstance, but it’s also your job to educate and teach them what they don’t know.
Don’t make the mistake of becoming a people-pleaser. Saying thank you too often, especially when it’s not deserved, reduces their respect for you.
Speak to them like you are certain of the future and confident in the abilities of your products and services.
3. Pick Up Where You Left Off
Since these aren’t cold emails, make sure to include the personal connection you made. It reminds them who you are and portrays you as more of a friend than another sales rep. Case studies show that people buy from those they trust.
Build trust by mentioning something from your last conversation. Show them that you were listening and you’re there to help them solve a problem. By building this trust you’ll quickly see an uptick in your email response rates.
4. Hit their Hot-buttons
Always show your prospect how you can make their life better. Maybe you’re helping them achieve a dream. Maybe you’re helping them eliminate a fear.
Find something that will speak to their emotions. Making extra money or saving an hour every day may not seem emotional, but once you start asking what they would do with that additional money or time, it gets emotional quickly. For example, maybe they would spend more time with their family.
Rather than showing them your product’s features, remind your prospect how the benefits will improve their life.
5. Leave a Clear Call-to-Action
Every prospect needs to know what the next step is. Do they send you an email? Do they respond to a specific email address? Do they click over to a product page? Do you give them your phone number to continue the discussion?
You can give them a single call-to-action so they know exactly what to do or you can give them a few options in case they have a strong aversion to certain means of communication.
Help your prospects clearly understand the path forward and they’ll be much more likely to take that action.
6. Include Your Contact Information
Before moving forward with your call-to-action, a prospect may want some questions answered. By leaving your contact information – and making it clear that they can contact you for any reason – you remove a potential roadblock from the sales process.
Being approachable and easy to reach encourages contact and builds trust and credibility. It’s easy to include this in your email templates so you never forget it.
Remember, prospects aren’t always ready to purchase during the first meeting. You need to take them on a sales journey.
Having the right elements in your follow-up communications will improve the quantity and quality of the responses you get. That means a bigger, more engaged pipeline and ultimately more deals.
What have you found useful in your follow-up emails? Let us know in the comments below!