When you have the first sales meeting with a prospective customer you may hope that the meeting ends with a sale. However, that isn’t likely to happen. In fact, it only happens about 2 percent of the time. The other 98 percent of the time, a first sales meeting doesn’t conclude with a closed deal, but hopefully, it does close with some rapport and trust having been established.
While the first sales meeting you have with a potential customer is extremely important, what you do after may be even more crucial. How you stay connected to your prospect will play heavily into whether or not the relationship results in a sale. That means that you have to keep new prospects engaged, provide them with appropriate solutions, and show them that they are valued.
Immediately after your first sales meeting, you should follow-up with prospective customers. The best way to do that is to send them a follow-up email and a handwritten note. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on best practices for your .
Timing Best Practices for Sales Meeting Follow-Up
Timing is crucial in sales, you can ask any salesperson about that. Whether you send a follow-up email manually or you automate it, here is a timeline to follow:
- Within 24 hours – Send follow-up email and handwritten note while your meeting is still fresh in the mind of your prospect.
- In 2-3 days – Send any additional information the prospect requested at your sales meeting.
- In 1 week – If your prospect hasn’t responded yet, now is the time to reach out again.
Follow-Up Email Content
Not only is timing important, but so is the content of your follow-up email. Below are some best practices to keep in mind when you are composing your email.
- Subject Line – Make your subject line interesting and personal. It needs to encourage your prospect to open the email.
- Start with Enthusiasm – Show your excitement about the meeting you just had. “It’s always important to be enthusiastic as a sales rep. People like being around upbeat and positive energy so you should start your email in an enthusiastic tone.” This is advice from PhoneBurner’s blog post, .
- Recap Your Meeting – In the body of your email, briefly recap what you talked about at the sales meeting. offers this insight, “Sending a follow-up email that recaps the conversation and provides more information on the subjects discussed is a great way to continue to build trust without being annoying.”
- Follow-up on Promises – Be sure that if you promised to answer questions, send information, or anything else, that you include answers or attachments with your follow-up email.
- Your Contact Information – Include all of your contact information, so that it’s easy for your prospect to contact you without spending any time searching for your information.
The key to staying connected with prospects is to continue to surprise and delight them throughout the sales process – and even after. One way to do this is to send them relevant content that you think will be interesting or useful to them. You can also recommend books, deliver something of value (not necessarily monetary value – think of things that will help your prospect, like a referral), or offer information about new products that may provide solutions for your prospect’s business.
Always Plan Your Next Step
The follow-up process doesn’t end with your email after the sales meeting. And you need to stay on top of your sales activities and plan for future contacts. Be sure that whatever interaction you have with your prospect gets entered into your (CRM) software solution. While your meeting is still fresh in your mind right now, as you get further along in the process, you may not remember all of the key points necessary to plan your next steps.
The goal of your follow-up email should be to demonstrate your listening skills, ability to communicate, and that you recognize your prospect’s business needs. Building trust and establishing rapport will ensure that you get another meeting with the prospect and that you are on the right path to a closed deal.