When I was buying print ads I had a rep that would call and leave me voicemails like these:
BEEEEEEEEEEEEP! “Hey, just checking in to see if you were planning to buy more ad space with us. I know you said you had your annual budget allocated already but I just thought that it might be a good investment to put additional budget in another ad with us for next month. Just call me when you can to discuss sizes.”
That’s where the phrase “just checking in” takes me. Oh, memories.
Luckily, not everyone has worked with hungry print ad reps at a local newspaper. But, can you think of a time you responded well to the email, voicemail or text “just checking in”?
We’ve all done it though, right?
“Just checking in to see if you received the proposal.”
“Just checking to see if you wanted a demo or audit.”
In reality, we’re looking for one thing when we use that phrase: an answer. Movement. Progress.
So, how do we follow-up with leads when the sale goes cold (without being passive aggressive)?
Recently, I had a client feeling discouraged because he had great momentum with a top grocery company – we’ll call the company Smamazon – that suddenly went cold after the proposal was sent.
My client was waiting to hear back from from Smamazon after two emails, a proposal, and a voicemail. He was wondering how to follow up without coming across like a pest and asked if he should send an email and “say something like, ‘Hey, just checking in…’?”
Here’s a few templates that work way better for following up with prospects when you need to keep the momentum going.
This exact script may be a little specific for you, but here are the elements you can always use:
Now, you may have noticed the easy out option. If your prospect goes even cooler. I mean, ice cold. Totally stopped responding. Send this ‘close file’ email.
If you’ve sent six emails or more to no response, consider deploying a “breakup email.” This type of message makes it clear you won’t be contacting the buyer any more — unless they respond to your email, that is.
Breakup emails help separate prospects who want to engage but simply haven’t had the time from those who have no interest in a given product or service. Either way, the salesperson learns how to proceed, which is more than half the battle.
According to HubSpot, this sales email template has a 76% response rate. I only pull out this email when I follow up with someone two or three times and don’t hear back. If used incorrectly, it may come off as threatening.
What if you’re fairly certain that the prospect isn’t interested, and you just need confirmation? Try this message:
So, what happens when someone says no?
If you were in their shoes, would you like someone to keep selling you after you told them you weren’t interested? Or, do not have a budget.
No. Of course not. You’d want them to accept it and move on.
Does that mean that you’re done? Not really …
If a prospect doesn’t want to work with us, we still have the opportunity to learn if it was a mistake we made or something about our product or services that needs tweaking. Or, perhaps it’s just not a great fit. So, in pursuit of constant improvement (and general awareness), we simply ask them.