The follow up stage of working with potential new business can be an arduous and anxiety inducing task, no matter what industry you're in. Managing both your prospective clients expectations and your own eagerness to move the process along is an art form worth learning.
You're walking a fine line between 'I'm just checking in... again', and 'Here's everything we talked about earlier in explicit detail AND here's some extra info AND here's some more info just in case'.
Previously, we covered our best tips for keeping those prospects warm with general guidelines for writing follow up emails. We're doing one better and giving you 5 sample email templates that you can use for everything from no response to closing the deal.
1. Follow up email after no response
It happens to the best of us - every time we send an email, we're competing for precedence against a flurry of newsletters, daily work emails, other prospective vendors like ourselves, and a bevvy of spam cold outreach.
The key to the follow up after no response is to explicitly state the value in your message. It's not just a 'checking in' email, it's a checking in email wrapped in a coat of value and information that is beneficial to the recipient.
Thanks again for our discussion the other week!
We were talking about how I could help you [insert goal or plans] so that you could [insert main benefit] - I sent over some more details last week, but in case you missed my email I thought I'd check in again and also pass on some additional resources that could really help.
I'd love to set up a time to catch up again in the near future, but in the meantime for quick reference, I've added a link to our [insert content type] at the very bottom of this email.
You've clearly outlined:
- Context of your last meeting ('we discussed')
- More information = more value
- Your explicit ask/intention ('set up a time to catch up again')
2. Sales follow up after a meeting
Perhaps the most important follow up email, is the one that comes directly after your discussions - 'strike while the iron is hot', and all that jazz.
The key to the initial follow up email is to be direct with your value and your intent to keep things progressing. You don't want to overload them with information and reduce the likelihood of them even reading the email, but you want to be explicit about the benefit of progressing the discussions.
It was great to meet you today and to learn so much about yourself and everything that's happening over at [company].
I promised you some more info and here it is! I've attached information about [discussion point] and also some extra material on [other discussion point].
I'd love to keep our discussion going and get into more detail, do you have any time next week for us to have another call?
- Thanked them for their time.
- Passed on the specific information they've requested, while the discussion is still fresh in their minds.
- Expressed your intention to keep the discussion going and gave them a call to action - booking another call.
3. Follow up to offer a sales meeting
Opportunities for sales meetings can sometimes just fall into our laps! You may be at a networking event, a tradeshow, or even be introduced by a current customer of yours. It's important to make the most of the limited window after an initial meeting to establish that connection and encourage further discussions.
What a nice surprise meeting you yesterday! It was great hearing more about [company] and your personal experience with [industry specific area or development].
I've been thinking about our discussion and how you mentioned [area of discussion that relates to your business] - I really think [our company] could help [solve/increase/build on] that area of your work and I'd love to grab 30 minutes of your time to talk in more depth with you about it.
Do you have any time next week to jump on a call with me?
In this email you've:
- Reminded the contact of who you are, and what you discussed.
- Asked for a meeting with a specific time commitment and date range upfront, so the prospect doesn't need to work out vague and ambiguous timing themselves.
4. Follow up after being asked to circle back
Isn't "circling back" such a good "business phrase"? Often times prospects will be interested in hearing more, but it's simply not a great time - it could be for many different reasons such as high workload, waiting for a new financial year, waiting for their manager to be available for discussions.
Your follow up for this situation should 1. be in your calendar so you don't forget! and 2. include a good amount of refresher information to jog their memory.
I hope you're well!
Last time we spoke about [specific notes regarding your previous talk about business], you mentioned that [reason for delay] and we should pick this up once the dust has settled.
Do you have 30 minutes this week to talk?
- Is short 'n sweet!
- Poses as a reminder without being pushy.
- Has an explicit time frame requested for a discussion.
5. Follow up after a demo
If you've secured a demo of your product or service with your prospective client, the follow up to this meeting can be the defining factor between moving a prospect to a customer. Scary as that may seem, overthinking the email could be your downfall!
Follow ups in this case should prompt next steps, and have specific information regarding your demo explorations and discussions.
Thanks for taking the time [today/yesterday/this morning etc] to run through a demo of [platform/business] with me! Hopefully I was able to give you more context of how [business] can work with [prospects business] to help [specific benefit they are hoping to achieve].
As discussed, I'm attaching more information regarding [specific question or area of interest].
The next steps for us would be to [discuss with your wider team/demo to wider team/sign your team up for a trial so you can explore the platform etc] - shall we go ahead and set that up?
Please let me know if you or the team have any questions at this stage and let's discuss soon.
You've clearly outlined:
- A basic recap of your discussion and demo.
- The additional information they requested/you mentioned.
- The next steps you recommend they move through, and have prompted a go ahead.
Emails may seem like a tiny portion of the sales process, but having the ability to write clear and concise emails will help you succeed in any industry!