The Perfect Follow Up Email Template For Every Sales Meeting
Getting a meeting with a prospect who fits your Ideal Customer Profile is hard work and is generally as a result of lots of sales and marketing spend from your business. Having worked so hard and spent so much to get a meeting, the #1 priority after meeting with a prospective client should be doing everything possible to move them from being a prospective client to an active client.
It kills me to see so many sales people with such a bad approach to their follow ups after a meeting where they have pitched something. In this post, I want to give a quick example of a simple method which has brought me success over the years and three steps which you should be able to apply to any industry. I am not going to focus on anything to do with how you get a meeting or how you present yourself in a meeting, simply on what to do in the immediate aftermath of said meeting.
One assumption that I am going to make is that you have defined clear action items with your prospect at the end of the meeting and that everyone who was in the room was made aware verbally of what the next steps are, particularly if there is something which they need to do. From this point, on the same day that you had your meeting if possible, send the prospect (and everyone who was in the room ideally) an email which details the following:
Summarized Notes Recap
Do not assume that everyone was listening to everything that you said during the meeting. More importantly, if they need to go upstairs to a more senior economic buyer within their organization, do not assume that they understood exactly how you can help them and that they will be able to relay this message in a clear and concise manner.
Write a simple recap (1-2 sentences) on the point which you feel resonated most with the people in the room, along with how you can solve this problem for them and a guideline to how much it might cost them. By doing this, you will ensure that everyone who was in the room understands exactly what you want them to understand and will be better able to explain it to the person who holds the purse strings.
Clear Next Steps
Most sales people understand that next steps need to be defined, but these next steps are too vague in most cases and lead the prospect to simply wait for you to call again before taking any action. Every person who was in the room should be 100% clear on what is expected of them to move to the next stage. More often than not, this will be verbally agreed in the room without any real commitment or accountability, and that is where a clear email follow up can help.
Make it clear in your email what you are going to do next and list any action items which fell to them, mapping each item to the person who is responsible for it (it is essential to mention the person by name as this will hold them personally accountable for the task). A clear deadline should be presented for all of this and everyone should know who is going to make the next move and when.
At the end of most meetings, the prospects will ask you to share the deck that you presented to them via email. Remember that there is a good chance that this email will be forwarded to the decision maker with very little context so this deck should make sense without you there to present it.
As a good presentation deck is very light on text and relies on visual imagery and story-telling for impact, the overview deck that you would share at this point should be an expanded upon version of this with subtext to explain each point. See example of the differences from the same slide on two decks below.
Where To Go From Here
Regardless of what was agreed in terms of next steps, don't wait for a prospect to get back to you. If they say that they will get back to you by next Wednesday, give them until next Wednesday and if you don't hear anything, get in contact with them the following day. "Oh, he / she was supposed to get back to me" is the worse sales excuse in the book.
A call here is usually best, although depending on the relationship and how communication has taken place to this point, an email can be as effective. I have read lots of articles stating that every sales person should have an automated sequence that they can put prospects on at this stage and while I agree that this is a good idea for very small contract values at scale, I believe that this is a terrible idea for any deals in excess of even $10,000. After having invested so much into a client, sticking them on a 'touching-base, checking-in' automated sequence this close to the finish line is madness. Call the prospect to close the deal or send a personalized email and use tasks or Gmail Snooze to set reminders for following up again after an appropriate number of days.
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