We all like to think that our memory is way better than it actually is. After all, how many times have you told yourself to remember to pick up dinner on the way home only to speed by the grocery store, blissfully unaware of the empty fridge that awaits you at home? Oops.
Thankfully, dinner doesn’t (usually) have as high stakes as closing sales does. If you forget to stop at the store, you can always turn around and pick it up. But if you forget a key part of a sales conversation and try to fill in the blank, the prospect might not be as forgiving. Or if you and the prospect remember parts of the conversation differently, that could also lead to a lost sale.
Let’s take a look at four reasons why you should send a follow-up email after every conversation with your prospect.
1. Thank Them for Their Time
We’ve mentioned more than once that the secret to a successful sales strategy is relationship building, so it should come as no surprise that one of the main reasons for sending a recap email is to further develop your relationship with a prospect. Make sure they know that you care about more than just their money. Thanking a prospect for their time is courteous and will help you stand out among other organizations that choose to only ask for a follow-up appointment by email.
2. Recap the Conversation
Now for the meat of the email: the actual conversation. How you take notes is entirely up to you; for example, our sales team prefers to have the conversation and then jot down key points immediately afterwards. Regardless, in your email, you’ll want to clearly recap the discussion you just had. This gives the prospect the opportunity to confirm or clarify your notes as well as add any additional thoughts they might have missed on the call. It also gives you a paper trail to hold both yourself and the prospect accountable just in case something (if anything) goes wrong.
3. Restate the Benefits of Working with You
Depending on what point in the funnel your prospect is in, you may want to consider reiterating your company’s value props in the email. Don’t include anything too lengthy or self-promotional—basically, avoid saying anything that will have the prospect rolling their eyes and thinking twice about making a deal with you. Instead, you want to be clear about how your company can specifically solve the prospect’s problems. This short paragraph will be a great reminder for prospects who may be talking to multiple representatives from your company and not just you.
4. Confirm Their Next Steps
Your email should end with a clearly defined next step, even if it’s just confirming your intent to send a follow-up email in a week. The prospect should also know what’s expected of them, whether it’s to review data you had asked about or give your program some additional thought. This way, when you do follow up, they’ll have had the opportunity to prepare, gather questions, and continue the conversation.
Sales isn’t always an art and a science—first and foremost, it’s a strategy that revolves around genuinely helping others, not meeting a quota. Prospects have problems, and you know you can solve them—but you can only do that if they share their needs and challenges with you.
Depending on your industry, sales may not always be a one-and-done phone call. If you need to make multiple phone calls, that’s perfectly fine. Just make sure you send a conversation recap email after every call to ensure that you and the prospect stay on the same page and that you spark an engaging conversation.
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