Diane asks, “If a prospect doesn’t reply to your initial email, how soon should you follow up, and what should that followup look like?”
The phone is my friend. You should follow up very quickly by phone. I believe in direct marketing. Okay, emails are fine for opening the door, sending information, if you’re a secret. I think you should follow up with me. I’m big on following up. I teach everyone to use a followup system. One of the things I do, whether it’s a face-to-face meeting, a video meeting, or a phone call or an email response, I immediately use the technology and send a video email. I love video emails. Here’s an example.
Well, Claude Diamond, I so enjoyed our conversation today, I just wanted to summarise our negotiations what we’re going to put in the contract. I’m going to send that to you today through DocuSign. If you could please get that back to me before Monday at 10:00, we can proceed with the business plan and everything else we discussed. My personal phone number is 970/281-5151. Please feel free to contact me or Skype if there’s anything else. You take care, really enjoyed meeting you. You’re a gentlemen, thank you sir.
Boom. Video is … we have this great technology and no one’s using it. We even have specific applications out there that are just designed for video email with low bandwidth, so they don’t go in a spam box and things like that.
Well, number one. I don’t think you should expect any prospect to answer your first email. Although I would say we’ve got a pretty amazing process we call the theatre of success. With a 98% average engagement, which means if we email you, 98% of the time, which is almost, you can’t call that a guarantee, but it’s as close to a guarantee as possible, that you’re going to get back to us. But it’s 14 steps over 30 business days carefully choreographed on-line, off-line, handwritten notes, goodies, emails, calls, voicemails, from us as a prospect door and from others on our team to kind of create this theatre of success.
So I don’t think you should expect someone to email you the first time. In fact, I think you should create a story with your emails that doesn’t require or expect your prospect to get back to you. Now, another reason why they won’t get back to you is as busyness, this takes into account that your email is actually worth responding to and not some very, very long email. You and I can do a whole session on ideal email writing. We’ve got it down to a science. No more than four to five sentences on any email. One hyperlink, one phone number throughout the entire process. Just gently nurturing the people that you believe you have a solution to help into the right process.
By the way this all starts where we started our conversation, on that research. If you haven’t done your research there’s no way you can write competent emails because you don’t smell right, you don’t sound right, you don’t look right, none of it. It almost feels generic and clunky. So when you get those emails like I do, and I’m sure you do Will, are you the right person? Forward me to the right person. You just, you kind of shove that aside because you know that person hasn’t don’t the research, hasn’t done the time. By the way the second worse sent then that I’ve seen now is, Hey Dan I just enjoyed your blog entitled, it’s right there with the hyperlink to it. By the way I think you should buy my marketing services.
Just like, okay, number one, now I feel like you’ve lied to me. Because I’m sure you went through my blog, because you had to get a blog. But it’s like the second to the last blog I just wrote, so you didn’t do much research, much time, and now I feel like you’re disingenuous, oh my gosh, on purpose so now I want nothing to do with you. So yeah, there’s some work we need to do probably reframing the idea that we want someone to answer us in the conversation.
Just like, if I were talking to you Will and we’ve had several conversations, and it’s been over several years I probably wouldn’t just jump in to say, “Hey, you should buy from me.” I wouldn’t do that. I would probably say, “Hey, how are you? What’s going on? You know, how’s the family, how’s the podcast? How’s it going? When you started I think I was one of your first few guests, and you had no downloads and now you’re the rising star, you’re like taking over this whole industry.” So there’s lots we could talk about before I jump into business. Right? And that’s what your sales prospect and conversation needs to be.
If it’s initial email and you don’t get any response, one hopefully that you’re tracking things, that you’re using some kind of software. There’re tonnes of them out there that will say if the email’s been opened, if the emails been clicked, because that is a totally different situation to not knowing anything or someone opening the email. Or, if the emails been opened 15 times but they haven’t quite replied yet. They might be crazy excited about your product or service. They might be crazy excited about you. They might really want to do a little bit more research before they reach out because they want to have a real strong conversation with you.
So the first thing is you need to track what’s going on otherwise you’ve not got the data, you’ve not got the analytics to be able to follow up succinctly and promptly on the back of this. The other elements of this is regardless of whether it’s one email you’ve sent or 50 you should be using multiple channels then to follow up. So if someone doesn’t get back to you on email perhaps you call, you leave a voice mail referring to the email that you sent. Do this the same day. Do this in the afternoon. If the data, the insights that you are sharing are timely, which they should be. That generates the needs to want to respond and you’re not baiting people here, “Hey, get back to me within the next few hours I’ve got some kind of secret for you.”
You’re showing someone what’s happening this quarter in the industry that they can benefit from and so there’s this underlying need, this want, there’s a desire. The prospect opening this email of you and the attachment. Reading the information that you’ve sent them. They’ve got an open feedback loop and until they contact you they can’t close it. That’s going to be running around in their subconscious. So you want to give them multiple ways to close this feedback loop. So perhaps the next followup is, the next bit of information, again you just send them, almost like a drip campaign in marketing so that they get information, they open it, get information, they open it, get information, they open it. How scalable is that right?
If you can manage that process you don’t even have to speak to them to progress the information gathering, to progress the sales forward. Or, alternatively then you start getting them on social media. You see if they go to industry events and you jump on them at the events. Shake their hand, “Hey I dropped this email, I left you this voice mail, I’d like to just cover this with you if you’ve got five minutes to sit down.” Whatever it is. Get down the initial email. Get the data, because if they’ve not opened it you don’t want to send the same email again because they might go back and read the previous one and that looks crazy lazy. But if they’ve not opened it your problem is attention. If they have opened it your problem is they don’t give a shit about what you said.
I feel like these types of questions are asked when you’re thinking too small. How would you have to show up in your interactions so that you’d be bringing so much value that if they got an email from you they’d feel bad not to respond. It’s really easy in our territories to get bogged down in the minutia of “They didn’t call me back, how long should I wait?” “What should my call to action be?” “What should the urgency be?” Rather than first and foremost showing up in the world as the type of person who brings so much value that all that other stuff becomes easy or unnecessary.
I think there’s a tonne of debate on this one. I’ve read research, I think it was Yesware put it out and it’s a couple years old, so I would encourage other people to correct me on this. It was if they don’t respond within 24 hours it’s pretty much okay to send it again. I think as humans we tend to think that I don’t want to burden somebody so I think a 48 hour window is okay between messages. I do think that you should keep the messages separate. I don’t like the, “Hey, just seeing if you got my last email.” I think that’s part of the problem. I also think that it’s not just email, right? So if I email somebody on Monday, for me I’ll actually LinkedIn with them on Monday too so that they get two things in their in box. But then there’s Twitter there’re other places that you can do things around the direct message you send them to give them indications that you’re interested in speaking to them right?
In many cases the medium is the message so if I go and like a comment on LinkedIn that’s going to send a certain message to the prospect. If send them an email, that’s a certain type of message. If I leave a voice mail that’s different than a live pick up. If I like something on Twitter again so making sure you understand what each medium can do and how to maximise it is the most important thing rather than well how often can I just email them because I think you’ve got to go after different channels.