Today I want to talk about a huge problem that I see over and over again in sales and marketing.
Too many people do zero sales follow up or nurture with potential customers or clients.
Even if they’ve already had a conversation with them.
When you think about it, this is bananas.
A recent study from Yesware found that, when a single sales email went unanswered, only 30% of sales professionals or entrepreneurs sent a follow up.
70% gave up after the first attempt.
So, what happens when you do this?
You automatically disqualify yourself from getting their business.
Microsoft ran a similar study. Their numbers were eerily similar.
Only 11% of sales professionals followed up for the fourth time even though it takes a minimum of 5 contact points before you even become a factor in your prospect’s mind.
Tip #1: The First Step To Writing The Perfect Sales Follow Up Email Is To Actually Write and SEND It.
This one is more of a PSA than a tip. It doesn’t matter how amazing your follow up email if nobody sees it. If you are willing to follow up with prospects until they respond then you may need to outsource your sales or find another line of work.
“But Josh, isn’t this annoying? If they don’t respond after the first email doesn't that mean they are not interested?”
Think about your own inbox. Do you answer every single one of the hundred emails you get every day?
You don’t even open all of them. That’s because you are busy. You have your own priorities and, sometimes, you can’t commit any more mental bandwidth to anything other than your most pressing priorities.
Your prospects are the same way. But this doesn’t mean that they are not interested. It means they are interested on their own terms. And by not following up with them you have zero chance of success.
It’s not their responsibility to remember who you are and why you are great. Your sales follow up process needs to consistently reintroduce your message to remind them why they were interested in the first place.
Big picture? The more you follow up, the more you outlast your competition, the more likely you are to win the business.
TIP #2: Sales Follow Up Should Feel Personal
People want to do business with people. Why? Because people trust other people more than they trust businesses or machines.
They need to trust that there is someone on the other side of the translation that has their back. That will be there for them if needed.
You need to be human in your follow up.
Here’s an example of a personal follow up email that was sent to anyone who downloaded a report from our website:
It’s not a list of “reasons why we are amazing.”
It’s not full of jargon and corporate speak.
And most importantly It looks like it was manually typed out and sent to John 1:1 even though it was an automated follow up message sent through Connect 365.
The worst thing you can do, aside from neglect sales follow up altogether, is to make your message look generic and automated. It can, and oftentimes should be automated, but it should not LOOK automated.
TIP #3: Get To The Point
Sales follow up emails that are between 50-125 words have an average response rate of 50%.
This makes sense right?
If you were going to send an email to a colleague or friend you wouldn’t write a mile long manifest or 10 long bullets outlining every single detail.
Unless they specifically ask for more details, your recipient is not going to read a long follow up email.
This is even more true the higher caliber of prospects you are going after. C-suite executives are busy. They have a lot going on and a lot of things to think about. You are not at the forefront of their mind.
A short follow up email is a subtle sign of respect for their time.
A great formula to follow to keep your email short is this
- Intro: remind them who you are and call back to how they know you or a previous engagement you’ve had with them.
- Body: State the reason you are reaching back out and provide some new information.
- Close: Always follow up email should end with a call to action. This could be to suggest times for a follow up call, asking if they are the right person to be sending this too, or if they would like you to send over more details.
The important thing here is that they read your email AND feel compelled to reply. This turns the interaction into a conversation instead of a one way broadcast.
Still not sure what to say? Get dozens of campaign templates for outreach and follow up with Connect 365. Request and invite here.
TIP #4: No “Intelligence” Typos
Before I get into this I first want to say that I think people take grammar policing far too seriously. We’ve all posted on social media or written a blog post that had minor typos in it.
It’s easy to hit the wrong key when typing a word and have teh letters out of order. And for a blog or social media post, I don’t think it's a big deal.
But when you are reaching out directly to a prospect about helping them solve a problem and you are telling them that YOU are the BEST person to help you have to avoid egregious, “intelligence” or “carelessness” typos.
By this, I mean typos that make you look like you didn’t even read what you typed out. Or that you don’t know the proper words to use.
Even if it’s just a simple mistake, it doesn’t paint you in a trustworthy light. Your prospects want to know that you are going to reward their trust in you with precision and professionalism.
Use the correct version of your and you’re.
Use the correct version of there, they’re, and their.
Make sure you never forget to complete a sentence.
And always, ALWAYS, spell their name correctly. Both the person’s name and their business’s name.
Stuff like that is way more important than simple sentence structure and making sure you have perfect punctuation.
TIP #5: Sales Follow Up Should Be Sequential (Same Thread)
Here’s a cold outreach email template that we use pretty regularly
This specific message was an outreach email to prospects that we’ve identified on LinkedIn as being a strong candidate for our lead generation agency services at LinkedSelling.
The goal was to identify who was actively using LinkedIn, interact with them there, and then reach out to see if they had time to chat.
But, as I mentioned above, the vast majority of our prospects are not going to respond to an email like this right away.
Follow up is where the hay is made.
So we sent this email to anyone who didn’t respond:
The most important thing to note here is that this is a “reply message” to the original email thread. You see this kind of message all of the time in your inbox.
You send someone an email, it could be an email to someone from your team, a vendor of yours, a family member, etc., and they don’t respond.
So you send them another email on that thread as a reminder to respond. And typically they do.
This is because it’s clear there has been more than one attempt to reach them. The “Re:” in the subject line lets them know that this is a reply to them.
This triggers a compulsion to check that email thread to make sure they are not neglecting something important. The more times you follow up in this way, the more anxious they will feel about opening it.
Leading them to open the email and actually read it.
Now, done manually this can be very tedious but Connect 365 has a feature that can automate this entirely. All you have to do is set up what you want the emails to say and set a trigger to remove anyone who responds.
Here’s an example of a templated long-term nurture sales follow up campaign inside of Connect 365.
Want to see all of the templated campaigns that we include inside of Connect 365?
Check out this slide that breaks down our top 13 sales outreach and follow up campaigns.
Ready to get started? Every one of the campaigns above comes pre-loaded inside your Connect 365 account.
Want to contribute?
Let us know in the comments… how often do you follow up with prospects? Do you think you could do better? What’s holding you back?