A follow-up email is frustrating enough in any given situation, but when it comes to creating a sales follow-up, the challenge is another herculean task altogether. The incessant problems of ‘when’ and ‘how’ trail along the process, and you’re left wondering how to sound enthusiastic without sounding pushy. We’ve all gotten those infuriating calls from Vodafone and HDFC customer-care asking us five times a day if we’ve changed our minds about taking that data plan again.
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The aim is to be bearers of information and opportunities that will encourage potential clients to respond to your emails and wish to continue correspondence with your company as well.
It won’t always be easy, and can take several exasperating tries. But you have to discipline yourself into holding on until you achieve your desired results. Like Thomas Edison once put it, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Too often, people tend to resort to the traditional ‘just checking in again’ taglines to spearhead their email purposes, but the truth is, this doesn’t help anymore. To grab their whole attention and get them to respond and engage in what you’re offering for real, here are a few useful tips you should employ while writing your follow-up email.
Not to call forth the gameplan of the Godfather, but no one can argue that Don Vito Corleone didn’t know how to strike a good deal. If you haven’t heard back from your potential client for a few days, then in the first few lines of your follow-up mail, you should make a few attractive offers in their interest, indirectly hinting that it will only be made applicable to them on further correspondence with the company.
For instance: “Hi Shreenath, just wanted to inform you that the X you had mentioned is now available to us, and at better rates too! Why don’t we get on a call at 9834….and we can discuss thus further?”
The lure of an offer at better rates will definitely get you a prompt response!
Now if a person hasn’t responded to you even after prior engagement, do not lose heart. Instead, reach out to them with new and valuable information regarding the product or service in question. Before doing this, make sure that you casually remind them of what you had discussed before regarding the same subject in the off-chance that they have forgotten the lead. Then proceed to update them on the new developments and how it will benefit them.
For instance: Hi Sheetal, just following up on our earlier conversation where you had expressed an interest in Y. Just wanted to inform you that we have now launched a new and faster version of Y with better features, which you may find interesting. Feel free to reach out to me on 98674…and we can discuss the matter further?
Everyone’s inbox is cluttered with junk mails nowadays. As for a potential client, if he or she has reached out to you, then they’ve probably reached out to your competitors as well and may even be in talks with them regarding the purchase of the product or service in question. To that end, when you follow up with them through an email, you need to ensure that you not only keep your email short and simple but also convey your offer right in those few lines. Most professionals advise sales managers to stick to three to five short sentences.
It’s natural for people to not reach out or respond to propositions when there is no deadline. Today, if you follow up with a potential client on something they had expressed an interest in three weeks ago and then just give them an indefinite amount of time to get back to you, then nine out of ten you won’t be receiving a response at all. However, if you give these same individuals a timeline mentioning by when you wish to hear back from them, you have a higher chance of hearing from them sooner.
For instance: Hi Maya, following up on the earlier conversation we had regarding your interest in Z. Since I haven’t heard back from you in a while, should I assume that you are still interested? Since our product is now in its final stage and receiving several offers, I hope you understand that we are on a time crunch. I would thus be delighted if you could get back to me by Friday at the latest so that we can take a call on the matter.
Once people realise that this is their last opportunity to engage in a possible correspondence with your company for a selected product or service, it will shake them out of their stupor and make them proactive in their decision.
This is the most important part of the entire process of following up. Don’t give up after one try. People are busy and sometimes simply forget to reply on time or miss the mail entirely. It is up to you to patiently reach out to them again using the aforementioned tactics. Sooner or later, you’re bound to get a reply.
Do you have more follow-up tips to share in order to increase sale prospects? Let us know in the comments below!