Are you in sales? Here's how to keep up inbox hospitality.
While persistence in sales is key, there is fine line between following up a few times to make sure the message was received, and bombarding someone’s inbox or phone until they flat-out refuse to work with you, or block you.
Here are a few considerations before approaching someone to sell something:
Just following up to ask if the person got your email is fine the first, or even the second time. But afterwards, a follow-up needs to show some investment in the conversation and provide actual value to the person of interest. Add a link to a relevant blog post, a whitepaper, a webinar link, or something else that displays confidence in a potential business relationship. Read the company’s news releases, social media posts, marketing materials, and so on, to understand the company better and how your product fits into the business.
Extend the Sequence
Following up 5 times is okay if the period between the points of contacts lengthens. Twenty-four hours after the initial email, then five days, then a week, two weeks, and finally circle back a month or so later to see if the topic has become more relevant. Mix it up as well. Follow up by phone to find out if the contact got your email. Also, send an email post-call to share some info that you mentioned during the call.
Postponing is Okay
If a topic is not relevant now, a recent switch has been made, or the development timeline just does not have space for the product, then setting up a time to return to the topic works best. Instead of battling every “no” you encounter, take the time to learn more about the business. Take time to build a better business case and ask the client what they are interested in. Then, circle back about six months later.
The Obvious No-No
Our head of marketing recently got six calls in one day from the same salesperson. The same person had previously called our sales hotline a few times as well. That type of over-persistence not only led to a permanent ban of working with this business, we’re also writing a blog about it. Emails work the same way.
While sales is still considered a numbers game, it is extremely important to provide value to potential clients from the get-go and understand that it’s not about your sales process, rather the customer’s buying process. Drive meaningful conversations and don’t harass the inbox or phone.