As the holidays come up, some of us worry about being nice to those particular family members we don’t really like to interact with. #Truth. Whether it’s your in-laws, that weird cousin from a couple states away, or your brother’s girlfriend that everyone likes but you, you’ve had to master that skill of being nice even though you may not exactly WANT to be. Perfect segue – follow up emails.
[Enter stage left, our new development extraordinaire Lauren Funk to expand on this oh-so-important subject). The follow up is a huge part of our ability to get new business (no hiding that) and growing brands exponentially. Turns out, most of our clients are in the same business (of closing deals).
This is what I deal with on a daily basis and I like to think I’ve near-perfected the trade. With that being said, here are my tips on the right way to do the “Hey, just checking in!” etiquette so you can close that deal.
1. Be the most polite version of you as you can be, while also being assertive.
This can seem like a no brainer, but for some it can become an extreme of either sides. You’re either too polite and sorry, or not polite enough and too pushy. Be thankful for their time but also state you’d like to set up another meeting or a time to talk, so they know you’re still interested (even with their seemingly lack of interest).
2. Monday’s just don’t work.
You know it. Your coworkers know it. Everyone knows it. Mondays are always one of the busiest days of the week for some, so if you want your follow up to be seen and responded to, it’s best you do it towards the middle of the week.
3. Send a thank you note immediately after the conversation, phone call, in person meeting, etc.
This is a good preventative for avoiding the awkward “We should talk” email. A thank you email is short and sweet, is a thank you for their time and energy being invested in you, and should always end with some sort of “look forward to speaking with you soon” call to action. This will show that you’re appreciative but also on top of things and is a good indicator of how you’ll work in the workplace. However, an additional follow up email will normally happen 2-3 days after the initial meeting.
4. Offer a snippet of information in your follow up.
Having some information to share shows you’re educated and up to date in your industry (aka “a thought leader”), and is also another good tactic of following up that can be filed under the “helpful” category. It can be as simple as mentioning the position or issue that was brought up, and forwarding a related article or post that is helpful in terms of what was discussed. We particularly love this one because it 100% is a reflection of how well your content marketing is.
5. Don’t ever state “has the position been filled?” or “did you find someone else?”
The art of subtlety is your best friend. It’s just rude to ask flat out statements like that because you don’t want to sound pushy (we don’t think anyone would do this, but we’ve heard some unfortunate horror stories. *Halloween pun*) Instead, state that you enjoyed meeting them, clarify some facts that were discussed and lead into something like asking for a status update (seeing where they’re at). A good follow up email is almost like a good post breakup text.
To make following these easier, we’ve made a follow up email map for you.
- Make sure that what you want to accomplish in your email is clear in your head.
- Have a polite greeting/introduction.
- Make your reader aware of the purpose of the email.
- Offer information (if needed)
- Create a strong call to action
- Offer another time to meet (if needed)
- Thank them for their time
Hopefully after this we can send you out into the world with better follow up email etiquette (make us proud!) and a better understanding of what may be happening on the other end of things.