How to Craft the Perfect Follow-Up Email

August 17, 2018

Shawn Parrotte

The sales follow-up email is one of the most important messages you’ll send in the entire sales cycle. It’s also one of the trickiest emails to get right.

Follow-up emails serve as an opportunity to reconnect with your future customers and reinforce that you understand their issues and priorities. As a sales rep, it’s your chance to ensure “conversation alignment” — did what they say translate to what you heard? Finally, the follow-up email forces both parties to commit — in writing — to next steps.

Put all of these factors together and there is a higher probability of a successful partnership going forward.

But sales follow-up emails are hard.

If we are doing our jobs right as sales reps, we are busy. Back-to-back calls, five days a week. We often run out of time at the end of the day. Other things take priority. The sheer volume of daily calls means we sometimes forget exactly what was covered and the next steps.

Finally, let’s be honest, we’ve never really been trained on how to craft the perfect follow -up email.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Sales Follow-Up Email #

A useful follow-up email accomplishes three goals:

  1. Verifies you were listening to — and accurately interpreting — the prospect’s pains and concerns
  2. Sets clear action items and next steps
  3. Confirms and/or schedules follow up meeting date and time

But what does the perfect email look like?

While there is no one-size-fits-all sales follow-up email, all should include these six sections and follow a similar format:

  • Subject Line
  • Salutation
  • Opening
  • Meat
  • Next Steps
  • Close

The Subject Line #

Like most emails, it all starts with a solid subject line.

Unlike most marketing emails, the post-discovery sales follow-up email should be direct and to the point. This is not the time to be super-creative or catchy. There is no need to peak interest or be Buzzfeed’y. Short and direct is critical.

Some examples:

  • [Your Company Name - Prospect’s Company Name]: Meeting Notes & Next Steps
  • [Date] Notes & Next Steps: [Your Company Name - Prospect’s Company Name]
  • [Your Company Name & Prospect’s Company Name]: Next Steps

The Salutation

The key in the salutation is striking a balance between professional and friendly, while not being overly casual.

“Yo Eva!” is too casual.

“Dear Mr. Milan” is too formal.

“Eva — ” works.

Similar to the subject line, short and simple is best.

The Opening

First, acknowledge the call happened and convey how excited you are about helping solve their issue.

For example:

It was great speaking with you this afternoon. I’m thrilled that [YOUR COMPANY NAME] can help solve your most significant [BIGGEST PAIN POINT]. I’m confident we’ll be able to move forward in this business relationship.

Second, confirm their level of interest in moving forward.

For example:

It sounded like you are equally as excited about leveraging [YOUR COMPANY NAME] to solve [BIGGEST PAIN POINT].

The Meat

The bulk of the email is succinctly summarizing key points of the call (ensures you were actively listening).

For example:

Below is a quick summary of what we discussed on the call today.

  • Bullet one
  • Bullet two
  • Bullet three
  • Etc…

Add a question to confirm they agree with the summary. You want to ensure you are on the same page. This is also another chance to show active listening and gain another “yes.”

For example:

Did I miss any of the key points or mis-interpret anything we discussed? If so, please let me know!

The Next Steps

Highlight the next steps and action items (and who is responsible for each).

For example:

As discussed, here are the next steps:

  • Etc…

The Close

Finally, close with details for the next meeting.

For example:

I’m looking forward to our next call on [DATE / TIME / TIME ZONE] <<< time zone is critical! Be sure to list time in prospect’s time zone.

Record. Summarize. Store. #

The above “template” is reasonably straightforward to execute assuming you have been able to actively listen while taking notes while looking the prospect in the eye (assuming a video call) while conveying all the benefits of your services, and while ensuring you are asking the right questions.

That’s a lot of assumptions.

This is where comes in. Let us do the heavy lifting. “listens” to each call while recording its contents. It then summarizes the conversation and stores it automatically in your CRM.

From there, facilitates the creation of the perfect follow-up email by allowing you to pick out the central questions and concerns the prospect had during the call.

8 17 18 how to craft the perfect follow up email 01

To be clear, you still want to use the template outlined above, but layer the email with intelligence gathered during the call. For example, share recording clips in follow-up emails to show the prospect you genuinely understand their needs.

For example:

According to what you said (link to call snippet), here is how we can solve for that (link to resource on website).

The post-sales discovery follow-up email is the most important message you’ll send in the entire sales cycle. Don’t take it lightly. Learn more about how Chorus can help you craft the perfect sales follow up email.

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