“It’s a very subtle difference between following up and being professionally persistent versus being needy.” – Jason Bay in today’s Tip 213
Do follow up emails work?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today Jason Bay from Blissful Prospecting is back in his regular spot with some solid thoughts on prospecting. Here he is:
Jason Bay: So I was looking through my inbox just over the last month or so and I always tag and save all the cold emails and receive because I love seeing what people are doing and most importantly, you know what people are doing that’s not effective because these are also opportunities for us to create content and help other folks sound like yourself. And one of the big things that I see right now going on, especially when you’re doing cold outreach, is a lot of people are playing more of the volume game. So they’re hearing that “Hey, I need to do 10 to 20 touches on outbound to get a hold of people.” And they’re treating it more like I need to just get those activities done versus thinking about the quality of what the messaging is saying. So the big things that I hear that are not effective and I want to share these with you to make sure that really what my goal to accomplish here in the next couple of minutes is that one; how to follow up because follow-ups do work. The overwhelming consensus and I put up a LinkedIn post about this just to see what other people are doing and make sure to check that on the show notes it’s linked up there, but the overwhelming consensus is that follow-up and bump emails do work when you’re doing cold outreach. But the people that are finding success with it, including the work we’re doing with our clients, they’re doing something very specific that the other people are not. So I want to give you some bad examples. So the bad examples are the ones that you see all the time and it sounds like this. “Hey, just a quick follow-up on the message I sent earlier. I’d really appreciate hearing back from you” or “Hey, just a friendly follow-up to see if you’re still interested in my product or service.” And my favorite one “I know you’re busy and I don’t want to come off as too persistent, but I wanted to quickly follow up on my last email.” That last one is ironic to me because I think it’s actually good to come off as really persistent. It shows the person that you’re really interested in helping them, that you’re really passionate about helping them. So all of these really are bad because there isn’t really anything of value that they’re offering and, or they’re not pointing back to something of value. So there’s a couple of ways that you can go about doing these follow-ups, and I want to give you a couple of guidelines. So you want to make sure that you do not look needy in your follow-up. So it’s a very subtle difference between following up and being professionally persistent versus being needy. So you never want to come off needy. I like to space out these follow-up emails at least 48 to 72 hours after the previous email. The second part to this is you don’t really want to make the prospect feel guilty really at all. If that’s a sales tactic you’re using, it’s, well, I don’t want to say it’s not effective, I might be working for you. But the general consensus is that we don’t make people feel guilty and guilt them into buying our stuff so that they have buyers or more. And really it’s just gonna, make people really angry if you’re doing it in a cold email. So the goal here is not to make them feel guilty either. There’s two strategies that we’ve seen work really well. So one is you send a follow-up that’s, and they need to be quick, you know, two sentences, three sentences tops. Ideally, it’s one sentence. And what you’re going to do is reference back to something of value you talked about in the previous email. So give you an example of what that sounds like. So when we did cold outreach to companies to help them with prospecting and we share a good case study, the follow-up might be “Hey, did you get a chance to check out the case study that we did with ABC Company where we help them improve the response rates by 23%. I thought you find a valuable cause we share two specific strategies to help companies like yours spend more time in front of qualified prospects. What’s the best way to get some time on your calendar.” So there’s a clear call to action there. It’s pointing back to the previous email of which something of value is shared in there. So another technique that works well, and again, I was crowdsourcing, you know, feedback here on LinkedIn is Jeremy Lavelle. I think that’s how you pronounce his name. He was the top SGR at Lead IQ and he’s an AEE now and still does a lot of prospecting. And the bottom line is the guy’s a, he’s phenomenal. You know, he’s used these types of techniques to get a 30 plus percent reply rate to his emails and he’s booked nearly 70 meetings in a single month. So what he recommends, and I really like his advice to be his thing is, don’t reference a failed attempt. And that’s something that we hear. John Barrows, you know, talk about a lot and I totally agree with that. Don’t reference something that you failed to previously. Don’t say “Hey, it looks like you didn’t open the email” or “looks like you didn’t get a chance to check this out” or “Hey, I tried calling you, you didn’t pick up.” You don’t reference that’s a guilt tactic that doesn’t work well. So what he does is he makes sure to share something of value in there. So for example, if he sends an email, a lot of what LeadIQ does, like one of the really cool integrations they have is where you can take contact information from a prospect that you’re going to reach out to upload it right into like outreach your sales engagement platform and start prospecting right away. So his follow-up email would sound something like “Hey, it wasn’t sure if you’re having this pain point, but if there is a way that you’re looking to get the contact data from your LinkedIn research right into your sales engagement platform so that you can start prospecting, that might be a challenge that we can help you out with. If you’re interested in chatting.” So he’s getting very straight to the point about a very specific challenge that they’re having. Another technique he uses too is, “Hey is ABC still a challenge that you’re having at this time.” So it’s a pain point or challenge, you know, the prospect is experiencing. But the follow-up email is simply “Hey, is this challenge something you’re still experiencing at this time.” So if you use this type of a guideline, when you’re doing follow up, keeping it short, making sure there’s something of value in there or that you’re pointing back to something of value, you’re going to see a huge increase in your reply rates. And you’re going to be setting up more meetings.
Scott Ingram: Be sure to check out the resources on this tip over at DailySales.Tips/213 and when you’re there make sure you also follow the link to Blissful Prospecting and subscribe to Jason’s emails. They’re really solid, just like his tips.
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