Bob Marsh is the CEO of LevelEleven.
Lost emails and overcrowded inboxes are all too familiar nowadays. The follow-up email remains an important tool in a salesperson’s arsenal, but reaching out to a client to merely “check in” or “touch base” is a surefire way to end up at the bottom of the pile.
As tempting as it is to just fire these out, we’ve recently been talking to our team about putting an end to mere check-ins with clients. There’s nothing worse than adding on to the email load with a message that doesn’t add value.
Experienced salespeople know that if you want to reach out to a prospect and have your message resonate, that message needs to be concise and demonstrate a clear understanding of your prospect’s unique wants and needs. It can be hard to stay relevant when you’re contacting someone so many times. You have to get creative.
Next time you reach out to a prospective customer, skip the tired check-in and try one of the following reliable “excuses” for getting in touch. Not only will you be more informed about the businesses which you interact with daily, but you’ll also have more engaged clients and more feedback from prospects.
Know Your News: Stay up to date on not only what your competition is up to but what your clients’ competition is up to. You’re much more likely to receive a response when you have something to add to the conversation. Here’s an example of something we use: “I’ve been reading that salespeople who follow up on leads within 10 minutes experience much higher meeting conversion rates. Is this a challenge / opportunity you are working on as well? We have some great ways to very easily create internal sales competitions to get your team focused on this.” Bonus: Do this and you’ll be better informed on trends that can affect your own business.
Do Your Homework: Make sure you are also aware of your prospects’ company news. Check out the company website for relevant articles and stay attuned to their needs. You can use “I read ____ in an article about your company. Is this an initiative you are personally involved in? We may be able to help with ____.” Showing exactly where you can be of service is more likely to elicit a response.
Try the Client’s Product: If possible, buy or trial the client’s product so you can learn more about it. You’ll be better armed to share an idea on how your company can help if you have real experience with it. Your prospect will also appreciate the effort.
Leverage Seasonality: There are likely times of the year that are more important to your clients than others, so come up with a time-relevant reason to contact them. Many large companies plan for these six months or more in advance. Have something that could help your clients this upcoming holiday season? Reach out in June and July.
Share Your Own Stats: Invest in collecting some data and stats about your own product or your clients’ use of your product. Cold, hard facts are hard to argue with. I’ve had success with this example: “I just saw an interesting stat from our marketing team that 80% of our customers experience an increase in engagement and adoption of Salesforce.com, and I have some thoughts on how we can apply this to your business.”
Try some of these tricks . You’ll know more about your clients, you’ll have more engaged clients, and you’ll be doing your small part to cut down on inbox overload.