Content is king. This is true in many, many situations, and it’s especially important to keep in mind for the follow-up messages to our virtual sales conversations.
In this episode of Virtual Selling, Concrete Results, I am building off of the last episode in which I laid out the timing and timeline for your follow-up messages. Now, it’s time to discuss the content of those messages. I’ll share with you 2 big “don’ts” for your messages, as well as the 4 “do” components that you must include in your follow-up messages.
Setting the Stage
Let’s set the stage. You’ve had a productive virtual sales conversation with your buyers (or it could be in person), and then there was no firm commitment to a timeline or next steps. And you start the mental debate about follow-ups:
- “Should I or shouldn’t I?”
- “How many times should I follow up?”
- “What should I say?”
- “Am I going to look desperate?”
- “Am I going to look too aggressive and turn them off?”
If these are you concerns, consider reviewing the previous episode in which I covered the timing and timeline.
Don’t “Check In”
Let’s talk about what to avoid including in your follow-up messages so that you don’t come off as desperate or too aggressive. First, don’t start the “I’m just checking” in channel. I’m just checking in to…
- “I’m checking in to see if you made a decision.”
- “I’m just checking to see if you have any more questions.”
- “I’m checking to see if we should talk again.”
That connotation of checking in can put an adult into an icky moment where they feel they are being checked up on. So, I suggest skipping the checking in!
Don’t Push for a Decision That’s Too Late
The second “don’t” is to not look for decisions after too much time has passed. So, depending on what you are selling and the timing of how that works, we want to make sure that we don’t look for decisions too far after the conversation that we had. Why is that? Because we have lost the emotional connection. We have lost their engagement by that time. They’re no longer in that mindset of feeling good about you and the solution that you Provide.
So, after some time has passed in your follow-ups, and I would say after about the 4th follow-up, we shouldn’t ask for a decision. Instead we should ask for reengagement and another conversation.
Component 1: POWNs
Now, lets talk about the 4 components to include in your follow-up messages.
After a good greeting, the first component should include a connection or reminder back to the Problem, Opportunity, Want, or Need (we call that a POWN) that you discussed and the impact of that POWN to them; whether that is something they want to avoid or something they are leaning in toward.
So, what is the reward they are looking for with a solution to the POWN? Or what is the risk they are trying to avoid by solving that? The connection is important.
Component 2: Value
The second component to include in your follow-up messages is giving something a value.
What does that mean? Something of value can be an insight that you have after talking with them and thinking about their situation. It can be a link to something online, an article or whitepaper, (maybe it’s yours or maybe it’s somebody else’s), a document, an overview of something, an infographic, or something about their POWN and its impact. It could even be something else personal that you heard about them. For example, right now so many people are working from home or they are homeschooling, and maybe you have a valuable insight into those situations.
Component 3: Call to Action
The third component is a clear and specific call to action.
Don’t give them 5 different things to do. Give them 1 action to take, or at most 2. That action could be scheduling time, sending you something, phoning you back, or being somewhere at a certain time where you are going to connect. Be clear on your call to action for them.
Component 4: Expectation and Commitment
The fourth component, which is one that I don’t think is included very often, is to set the expectation and make a commitment for what you’re doing next.
This does a couple of things: It shows that you are in it for the long run, and that you are leading this process to help them make a good decision. It also gives a commitment on your end.
So, this could include letting them know that if you don’t hear from them, they can expect…
- That you’ll mail them something
- That you’ll call them on a certain date
- That you’ll send them a video
- That you’ll send them a text
- That you’ll send them another email
Let them know specifically what you are doing and by when. And then of course you need to take the action as promised.
So those are the four components and here is what they might look like in an email:
I hope you enjoyed the Packers game yesterday.
Component 1: POWN and Its Impact
I’ve been thinking about our conversation and how important it was for you to get a handle on your debt so you can start saving for your next home. With this being important to you because of the time you’re spending trying to figure it out on your own and the stress it’s causing between you and Carol.
Component 2: Value
Here’s some information that will be helpful as you’re thinking about your options for this. I’ve attached a whitepaper that speaks directly to the same situation. I think you and Carol will both enjoy it and find it helpful.
Component 3: Call to Action
Marty, I suggest you, Carol, and I have another conversation about your timing for getting on track with savings. You can use this calendar link to easily schedule a time.
Please look for a time between November 5th – November 15th that will work for both of you. If you can’t find a time that works, shoot me over some options and I’ll accommodate you.
Component 4: Timeframe
If I don’t see that calendar invite come through, I will reach out to you again by telephone on Tuesday at 4:30 pm to get it scheduled.
I look forward to our next conversation.
Have a great day.
That’s the four components for an effective follow-up email.
Now, how do we adjust those whether it’s a voice message, text, video, or something we are sending in person? That’s what I will cover in the next episode. I’ll see you then.
Do you want a deeper dive of the follow up system? Check out this 50-minute webinar where I share all the best strategies in one event.