Why You Should Send A Follow-​Up Email

BY Jessica Helinski

It’s no secret that salespeople should follow up sales calls. But HOW should they follow up? Dr. Jim Anderson, who blogs as  “The Accidental Negotiator,” believes that emails are an easy and efficient way to follow up a phone call, as well as add a little something to the account’s paper trail. Phone calls are such a vital method of communication but a major weakness is the lack of “proof.” “Oh sure, we might be able to point at our calendar after the call is over to show that it was scheduled to happen, but no papers were exchanged and there is really no proof that we talked,” Anderson explains. “This means that what we do after the call is that much more important.”

He reasons that emails are a great go-​to for the post-​call communiques. But, don’t just fire off an email without giving it any thought. Follow-​up emails, to be effective, need to be carefully written. Below are just a couple of Anderson’s tips:

  • Mind your grammar. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation help build your professional reputation, whether you think they really matter or not. Few people have their emails proofread (like they would a formal document), which is a shame because prospects and clients DO notice grammatical errors. Before hitting “send,” take a moment to carefully re-​read what you wrote or have it proofed by a fresh pair of eyes.
  • Be careful with your words.“The words that we use in our email need to be selected very carefully because nonverbal communication does not come across in an email,” Anderson writes. The reader won’t be able to hear the tone of your voice, so it’s important you use caution when selecting your words and phrases.  Urgent commands, sarcasm, etc. should all be avoided.

A follow-​up to a phone call is an important part of customer service, as it thanks the person again for his or her time, summarizes the conversation and adds to the account’s paper trail. And, by taking a little extra time to craft a thoughtful, well-​written email, you’ll demonstrate your own professionalism and attention to detail.