by Brittany Ferrera, Customer Success & Marketing Manager at Communications Edge Inc
Today's best-performing sellers have a unique sales email follow-up technique. They're getting through to C-level decision-makers more often, hitting and exceeding quota.
Because they're interrupting well and persistently. They have a superior ability to earn response on follow-up.
Ten years ago, it took roughly four attempts to reach a prospective customer.
Today, it takes eight.
We've read the research. I've surveyed our clients. The jury is out.For a follow up to be seen as unique must:
- move beyond templates and canned crap to provoke
- persist as part of a chain (seven to ten times)
- use email, voicemail, LinkedIn... all available tools
- stand out (the unique part)
Otherwise you're wasting time.
Being unique reduces risk of pestering
The only way to persist without pestering is to be unique.
This means NO templates. It also means customizing follow up messages from time-to-time. As often as possible creates more uniqueness.
This way you stand out more.
Your persistence is not seen as pestering because it's personalized.
How often should you follow up? Which tool should you use (email, voicemail, etc.) and what cadence?
Common questions about persisting. But these questions won't help you develop a unique sales email follow up sequence.
Be unique by...being unique
As sales trainer, Josh Braun, says about cold outreach, "What you need is an approach that doesn't feel forced, unnatural or uncomfortable. An approach that doesn't assume what you have is what someone else wants."
The best way to be unique is to be unique. You cannot fake it. And research is the most important element.
Also, worrying about pestering clients vanishes the moment you shift from placing solutions to solving problems. You allow yourself to empathize with prospects.
This is where having a unique sales email follow up technique comes in.
This drives how you communicate with them. From word choice to conversational cadence.
Exploit curiosity in follow-ups
Do your follow up messages spark curiosity?
Forget about intruding or how many times to follow up and when. Forget about BANT (Budget, Authority, Need & Timing) frameworks. Update your mindset and tactics. Get a unique sales email follow up strategy going.
Help customers become curious. Focus on the words you're using when following up the same way you would when writing an initial cold outreach email.
Use words to help buyers develop their own personal reason to speak with you. Even if they're not (yet) sure it's worthwhile (because they aren't yet... this is cold prospecting after all!).
Instead, provoke customers in a way that doesn't make them vulnerable to a pitch.
Quick example: Sellers tend to believe that offering the right data, in the right way, to the right buyer will cause customers to engage in discussion from cold outreach. We tend to believe we have the important data (that clients need).
"Now let me tell you about it and explain to you why you need it." That's our mentality.
This is why email follow up sequences often include research: Proof customers need to consider change.
But flashing research doesn't start discussions. Okay, it works with customers who are willing (and able) to buy now. (95% of your market won't bite!)
Sharing research doesn't engage because customers are not open to being persuaded.
Yes, cold email follow ups can work. But only if messages include words that:
- prove your email is not sent randomly (is researched, targeted);
- are biased to the customers' decision-making process, not a sales process;
- provoke immediate reactions based on curiosity;
- avoid making customers vulnerable.
This is why communications arising from a "BANT mentality" are less effective. BANT's nature is inherently biased to sales process.
Buying process drives buying! Shift the focus from qualification to provocation.
Customers run from words that scream, "I'm out to qualify you!" or "I'm out to influence your thinking with this research (so you'll engage in a buying discussion)."
Clients have become conditioned to recognize these failing techniques.
Eliminate persuasion in follow-ups
Trying to establish credibility can sabotage. Persuasion is the devil. The moment your messaging sounds persuasive, customers flee. Especially if you sell complex solutions.
Are your cold and follow up messages making customers feel vulnerable?
Consider two universal truths offered by Tom Snyder of Funnel Clarity:
- Prospects value more what they ask for than what's freely offered.
- Customers value more what they conclude for themselves than what they're told.
Your sales email follow up must be unique and honor these truths. It's become fundamental human behavior... to tune out information that's being pushed at us...no matter how useful it is!
As sellers, we must help customers persuade themselves to become curious about speaking with us.
This can't be based on our ability to sell, but instead, on our ability to solve their specific problems.
Helping buyers understand if (and when) they want to buy — on their own terms — is non-negotiable.
As a starting point, ask yourself: How will my follow up email sequence help buyers feel an urge to ask for a discussion? What will provoke curiosity? Is my sales email follow up tactic unique enough to earn responses?
Also, please consider: Where do your communications come from? How do you choose words in voicemails and emails?
Do they come from a need to serve? Or are they biased to placing a solution?
Start by answering these questions, and then you can move on to sending the emails and getting responses!