When Prospects Don't Get Back to You

BY Tim Londergan
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Prospect communication is a confounding thing. Be it email, voice messages or written communication, it’s often a toss-​up as to whether the recipient will respond. You carefully spend 10 to 25 minutes crafting an email, double-​check the address and ultimately, the prospects doesn’t respond. Sadly, you are torn as to how to follow up and how much more time you should devote to this pursuit.

You are not alone. Getting prospects to respond is the second greatest sales challenge, according to square2marketing. This obstruction follows closely behind finding a qualified lead in the first place! In addition, sales research tells us it takes an average of eight touches to get in front of a new prospect. So, how do we hedge our bets and make the most of our efforts to save time and reduce our frustration?

Busy and unmotivated prospects don’t get back to you

According to a recent Radicati study, the average person receives 141 emails a day. If that’s average, then it’s likely that your sought-​after target is receiving many more. Essentially, the most compelling emails are those that meet at the intersection of urgent and important. Now, you cannot help that your prospect is busy; that’s out of your control. However, you can implement a few strategies that increase the motivation for your prospect to respond.

Check these strategies to better compel a response

A blog from mindmaven​.com provides a wealth of strategies, tips and sample emails (extra cost) to pry a response from your recipients.

  1. Send an email that does not need a response – This may be congratulatory, a thank you, or, better yet, something of relevant value like an article or link to a podcast. This gesture will place you top of mind when your next email arrives.
  2. Be confident in your value – The relevancy of your email is key. Therefore, you must study the prospect and understand their needs and pain points. Educate yourself about how they would benefit most from your offering and make your case. Importantly, you should follow up two to three times over a four-​to-​six-​week span.

Look at your own inbox for clues

When prospects don’t get back to you it is disappointing. However, it is important to maintain perspective and not take it personally. In fact, reviewing your own behavior toward incoming communication may give you some clues. Note which subject lines are of most interest to you and why. Understanding your own motivation may help you craft emails that are more compelling.

Email statistics can drive your strategy

Forty-​seven percent of emails are opened or discarded based on their subject line, according to research. What’s more, B2B email open rates average around 30%. Disturbingly, 70% of salespeople give up if they don’t receive a reply to their first email. So, there are plenty of excuses when prospects don’t get back to you.

But don’t give up. The good news is that follow-​up emails have an increasingly higher response rate. Encouragingly, email is nearly 40x more effective at new customer acquisition than Facebook or Twitter.

Respectful assertiveness can work in your favor

Research shows that asking for what we need reduces anxiety and improves self-​esteem. Additionally, it can enhance the quality of relationships and it just may get your request fulfilled. In short, following up is worth the effort. Some tips for assertive follow-​up:

  • Timing and frequency – Unless it’s time sensitive, one week after your initial email is recommended. Each successive follow-​up should be spaced farther apart.
  • Keep follow up emails related, distinct and brief; short messages that are easily scannable and fewer than 100 words are ideal.

Photo by Melanie Deziel on Unsplash