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So You Didn’t Get A Reply, Now What? How to Follow-Up Like A Pro.

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[Webinar Recap] So You Didn’t Get A Reply, Now What? How To Follow Up Like A Pro.

 

You’ve sent a kickass email. Now what? To answer this, we revisited our friends at Lavender to discuss the art of the follow-up sales email. You might recall the first installment, “Inbox Triage: 3 Tips For Becoming Your Prospects Top Priority” with CEO and CoFounder of Lavender, William Ballance.  Now, we’ve invited them back to shine a light on the next step of the sales emailing process: How To Follow-Up Like A Pro. 

 

Follow-ups can be daunting and, too often, salespeople make simple and preventable mistakes when attempting to reengage. So, we had Lavenders CoFounder, Will Allred, speak on this during our most recent webinar, “How To Follow-Up Like A Pro with One of LinkedIns Top 10 Voices of Sales for 2021, COO and CoFounder Will Allred”. 

 

Lavender is an email assistant that helps you write better emails, faster.  It does this by using artificial intelligence to cross-reference your email with billions of successful sales emails. While you write, you are given live feedback and suggestions for how to improve.  Lavender makes your emails as effective as possible with a variety of tools and insights. You can learn more about the tools they provide in the preceding blog and the first webinar.

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How to Drastically Improve Cold Emailing

Will begins his presentation by recalling some of the crucial information his CoFounder previously shared. He discusses what they call “inbox triage”, essentially how to assess and improve your emailing. Going back to William Ballance’s presentation, Will notes that emails should be written at a sixth-grade reading level or below. While it may feel like the better option to use complex words to make us sound intelligent, that doesn’t serve the true purpose of sales emailing: to get a response and spark a conversation. The old adage of K.I.S.S, keep it simple stupid, is the best way to hold the attention of the busy decision-maker. 

This was his general framework for achieving an optimum cold email:

  • First, include one sentence that demonstrates personalization. 
    • This can be done easily through the use of Lavender’s Prospect and Company Research feature. It allows you to access a profile with a variety of information about your recipient. 
  • Next, you should ask one relevant question to address your prospect’s implied pain point. 
    • This question is used to initiate a conversation and should be easy to answer. A yes/no or multiple choice question allows for a quick and easy response, whereby you can swiftly follow up. 
  • Your initial email should include little to no pitch. 

 

Have empathy for how recipients experience their inboxes. Decision-makers see their inbox as a to-do list which creates a natural barrier to enthusiasm. Because of this, you should lead with empathy by remembering to keep messages “concise, simple, and conversational” (Will Allred).

As with most aspects of sales, focus more heavily on their pain than your solution. The first email will likely not result in an immediate purchase decision. You must first let them feel comfort in knowing that you understand their current problem. This lends itself to one of the most prevalent and consistent topics discussed by the founders at Lavender: writing conversationally. There should be a natural progression of back and forth building up to the pitch for your solution, just as you would expect from a face-to-face encounter.

 

Different Types of follow up Emails

People make the mistake of shifting in tone when sending a follow-up. What might begin as a confident and inviting message, usually changes to an insecure follow-up with sad undertones. You initially reached out for a good reason and Will Allred encourages you not to lose sight of that. That being said, remain consistent in your delivery and motivated by your initial assessment of prospect needs. 

  • “The Bump”
    • This is simply a way to draw attention back to your email after some time has passed. 
    • Stay away from trendy bump phrases like “thoughts?” and go with something more sincere. 
    • Instead, ask for feedback on your last email and restate your reason for reaching out. 
  • “The Clarification” 
    • Aims to model a classic pitch while following a more applicable guideline. 
    • Restate why you’re reaching out, reiterate what your company or offering does, and then provide some context. 
  • “Neutral Insights” 
    • Bringing a trusted resource into the discussion. 
    • Will says that introducing the name of a publication, an explanation and note of important points, and a mention of the initial call to action is an effective way to do this. 
  • “The Referral”
    • Only possible through research
    • Find another person in the company that might also be considered a decision-maker or influencer for the intended purposes of your offering. In your follow-up, ask if they would be a better person to talk to and mention the information you know about their position. The recipient will likely forward the message and you become much more likely to get a response.

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What Makes a Good Follow-Up?

Will included a few tips for our viewers. First, he reminds us that not receiving a response usually is not personal. You may have sent a great cold email, but if that person is too busy, the only thing you can do is keep trying. Don’t lose hope here. This is likely what we would call the deception phase of cold emailing and, as we teach in the Certified Professional Sales Person training, you must push through this in order to make lasting change and see successful results. Again, you reached out with a clear idea of how you can provide a solution, so don’t lose sight of it.

 

Personalization makes a good follow-up. In our last interaction with William Ballance, he spoke about Kyle Coleman’s 5×5 for Personalization. Spend five minutes collecting five pieces of information about your prospect that go deeper than surface-level demographics. Use what you learn in your follow-up, but be sure to save some information to be spread out during the duration of your interaction. Additionally, keep in mind that follow-ups are crucial in developing the story of your offering as a successful solution. 

 

What Should I Avoid?

You want to stay away from phrases that are trending in sales. This is because they are often oversaturated and do not yield the interpretation that you are looking for. Authenticity is always the better option. Furthermore, avoid apologizing for reaching out to them. This translates to the perceived decrease in confidence that was discussed earlier. 

What is Cadence?

Cadence is the rate at which you continue to reach out to your prospect. Will Allred argues that most follow-up intervals are too spread out. He says that you will likely be forgotten if follow-up sequences are not rapid enough. That being said, Will likes to think of follow-ups like a High-Intensity Interval Workout rather than a marathon.

Utilizing other platforms to make contact is also a great way to achieve this effect. Check out our webinar below “So you Didn’t Get A Reply, Now What?” and Learn How to Follow-Up Like A Pro, From A Pro.  

If you would like to hear more advice and wisdom from Lavender COO and CoFounder, Will Allred, then you should watch our webinar. More content from the minds of Lavender is available via NASP at (insert link) or watch the episode with William Ballance here

 

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