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#SalesTip - How to write good follow-up notes.

We all know first impressions count. Experts, and our own experiences, tell us a key to landing the deal is having and demonstrating genuine empathy for your clients. Yet many sales people don’t complete one simple task that can demonstrate empathy.

It’s a no brainer to turn up for the first meeting well prepared. But you’ll need to do more than read their annual report and look good to make a lasting impression that sets you apart.

Executives often tell me they’re surprised by how many salespeople don’t take notes or send them a follow-up note.

If you don’t send follow-up notes, you should. And here’s a follow-up strategy that will dramatically increase the rate at which you convert initial meetings into active, mutually beneficial, client relationships.

Here’s six tips to a great follow-up note:

  1. Set yourself up to succeed by scheduling time immediately after the meeting to review and summarise your notes into a record of the conversation. Turn your notes into an email to your prospective client. Your notes should demonstrate your grasp of their business and the challenges/opportunities they are facing. Bonus – these notes can also be cut and pasted into your CRM.

  2. Start your email with something like ‘I enjoyed meeting and talking with you’, or ‘it was great to connect’. Resist the urge to thank them for their time. You are an expert in your field and you are there to help. It’s a mutually beneficial engagement for both parties.

  3. Summarise their current situation. What are their objectives, and priorities? What things do they need to achieve, and why?

  4. State the problem(s). What are the challenges they have told you matter. Answer the following question, ‘what’s stopping them from achieving their objectives?’

  5. Show the business value of solving the problem, in their words. For example, ‘we discussed addressing the challenge will lead to better customer retention and increased renewals'. If you can include metrics, based on facts they give you, do so. For example, ‘you highlighted if we can solve this it would increase your renewals by X%, and lift revenue by XX%’.

  6. Outline a plan (not a full proposal) that includes the things the client will do, in addition to those you will do. The client needs to be invested in the solution and the plan is to meet their business outcome – the client’s objective – not the deal closing.

  7. If there has been a conversation about price, include an outline of potential costs, for example ‘in my experience organisations like yours would likely spend between X and Y on a plan like this’. Be clear and authoritative. Don’t low ball, and highlight that a full breakdown of costs will be provided as part of your detailed proposal once the solution has been clearly defined and agreed.

By including this simple activity in your sales process you will stay fresh in the client’s mind, building on the great first impression you created.

Do you send follow-up notes? If so, how do you structure yours? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments.

Get out there!


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