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The #1 Reason Your Follow-Up Emails Are Falling Flat (And How to Fix Them)

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You’ve just wrapped up the initial connect call with a prospect. Since you know first-hand that following up can mean the difference between a lost deal and a new customer, you immediately open your email, copy and paste a follow-up template, insert the prospect’s name and company, and send it off. Mission accomplished.

Whoa -- not so fast. While sales email templates are awesome, they can also be dangerous -- because if you don’t customize them, your prospects will undoubtedly notice. According to a new study from HubSpot Research, almost 40% of consumers say they had a negative sales experience because their rep failed to personalize his or her messaging. 

To make sure that your follow-up emails don’t sound canned, personalize your template based on how the conversation went. Here’s how.

The Template

 

Hi [Prospect],

I really enjoyed our phone conversation earlier today and especially liked learning about your unique role at [company]. I understand the challenges you are facing with [challenges discussed] and the impact they are having on [insert personal impact].

As promised, I have attached [or linked to] the resources and materials that can help you better understand how we can help you solve [challenge(s)].

Please let me know if you have any questions. Otherwise, I look forward to [talking with, meeting] you again on [date and time].

[Signature line]

[Salesperson]

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Scenario #1: The Prospect Seemed Extremely Interested

It’s the type of meeting salespeople dream about: Not only was the buyer completely focused on you, she was enthusiastic about the product and readily agreed to a second conversation within a couple days. Reflect her excitement in your email and build on the rapport you created by referencing a specific detail of your conversation, giving her a genuine compliment, showing you were paying attention to her pain points by paraphrasing them in your own words, or all of the above.

 

Hi Eliza,

It was great to talk to you today. It definitely seems like Sweet Tooth Bakery’s customers would appreciate a loyalty system. After all, I’m pretty sure I heard at least three people say they come in for your banana bread alone on a weekly basis. :) If you used a loyalty platform to collect these customers’ emails, you could reward their banana bread obsession and even text them when you’ve whipped up a fresh batch.

You seemed interested in pricing, so I’m attaching a price comparison PDF. I’ve also included my mom’s cinnamon roll recipe -- it’s been passed down for generations and may be one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

Let me know if you have any questions! If not, I’m looking forward to chatting again on Tuesday at noon.

Cheers,

Tim

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Scenario #2: The Prospect Seemed Neutral

You’re probably more familiar with this scenario, in which the prospect listened to your pitch and asked a couple questions, but didn’t seem overly enthusiastic. Your goal in this email is to reiterate the value of the product for his specific needs, so that he’ll want to invest more time with you and potentially advance in the buying process.

A great way to do this is through sharing a customer story, suggesting a reference call with a current client, or even linking to a third-party review site, where he can get an unbiased look at your product and how you compare to the competition. Offering a demo or free trial can also show prospects how the product would improve their lives.

 

Dear Jeremy,

I really enjoyed our phone conversation this morning. Seems like you’ve got a ton going on between hiring for your new office and setting up new recruiting campaigns.

Organization Inc. -- a customer of ours also in the manufacturing industry -- recently published a blog post about how they streamlined their hiring process with our help; here’s the link in case you’re interested: [link].

I appreciate you setting aside the time to talk again next Monday at 3 p.m. I’ll give you a call then. Please let me know if you have any questions in the meantime (and good luck with the rest of those interviews!).

Best,

Claire

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Scenario #3: The Prospect Was Polite But Uninterested

Despite your best efforts to ask thoughtful questions and engage the prospect in a needs conversation, she was clearly going through the motions to be polite. When you asked if she’d like to speak again in a couple of days to review an ROI projection for her company, she said, “Maybe next quarter.” And that essentially means “never.”

In this scenario, since the prospect didn’t give you much insight into her needs or situation, use your existing data or what you can find online to inform your message. Has she or someone from her company written about a related topic on social media? What problems do people in her company and role usually face? Pick a challenge, and explain how your product could help, like so …

 

Hi Chelsea,

After our call, I read your LinkedIn post about Interweb’s aggressive growth plans. It seems like a low-maintenance analytics tool would help you keep up with the rise in customer data, while letting your engineering team focus on building your core features.

Our product could help you with this goal, but you’ve got lots of alternatives. I’m attaching an overview of all the various options to solve this problem sorted by price and feature.

Would you be open to talking again on Thursday at 10 a.m. to discuss these options? I’m more than happy to go with a different time if that doesn’t work -- just let me know.

Best,

Carly

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Scenario #4: The Prospect Had Several Objections

During your short conversation, the prospect brought up several reasons why he wasn’t interested. And that’s not a bad thing keeping in mind that objections are often signs that a buyer is seriously considering your product.

In this email, focus on the prospect’s biggest reasons not to buy, and try to neutralize their concerns with customer case studies or anecdotes.

 

Dear Zane,

During our call today, I could hear how invested you are in giving your users a great first time with Silverstream’s app -- and I heard you when you said you’re happy with Firstly’s onboarding software.

But as I mentioned on the phone, many of our customers have switched over from Firstly, and their user retention rates are on average around 30% higher. I’ve attached a couple case studies so you can see specific examples.

I’m particularly interested in your reaction to Company X’s story. Give it a read, and let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Daniel

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Scenario #5: The Prospect Blew You Off

It can be a little demoralizing when a prospect is clearly trying to get off the phone as quickly as possible. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up -- it means you should provide a solid example of why your solution will give her company a competitive edge.

 

Hi Anja,

Judging from our conversation this morning it sounds like your customer service is in great shape right now.

However, as you continue to acquire users, your support reps might find it hard to deliver the same helpful, human support without leaving others waiting. That’s actually what happened to Ergo, one of the companies using our platform. They’ve got roughly 1,000 more users than you and an average wait time of 23 seconds.

I’m curious to learn more about your company’s growth and how you plan to scale. Are you available on Thursday at 2 p.m.? If not, we can find another time that works better.

Let me know,

Sarah

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By personalizing a follow-up email template to reflect the prospect’s response, unique situation, and personality, you keep the conversation alive. And conversation is always the first step in any sales process.

HubSpot CRM

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