To preface this article I am an Account Executive at a SMB focused SaaS company
I was recently reading “The Sales Acceleration Formula” and a seemingly intuitive error in my current client-relationship process struck me. While I put respectable effort into my frequency and volume of follow-up, my personalization is frankly atrocious. My initial follow-up after a call will often be relatively thorough, recapping key points and insights and providing relevant links and documentation. After that, however, my emails start to look at lot like this,
“Hey John, I haven’t heard from you in a few weeks and I wanted to make sure to stay on your radar. Do you have any questions that I can help with?”
Bad! Bad! Bad! First off, that is completely generic and provides no value added. It shows you didn’t even do the basic homework of addressing key pain points.
A thing I pride myself on in calls is really trying to drill down and understand a client’s problems. I will research and get a sense of a client’s archetype pre-call and then start the call by asking to hear their specific hurdles and needs in their words. This allows me to prescribe useful feedback and solutions and take a consultative approach to supporting them. My initial research supplements the information they provide me and hopefully allows generating solutions with the platform that they might not even have thought of.
This approach I think needs to be applied to my follow-up. After providing them documentation and links, I should be following up on specifics in those articles to see if they are engaging with what is sent. Better yet, see if I can take an aspect of their business they expressed interest in and engage them on it, using the platform as a launching pad.
For example, say they are really interested in generating leads and have mentioned curiosity in social media. On the call I likely drilled down into things like Facebook Ads and how they could use our marketing tracking functionality to differentiate success on campaigns from Twitter vs. Facebook vs. a blog. A good follow-up might look at a case-study we produced on UTM tracking and provide a finite roadmap.
“Hey John, I was thinking about our conversation on generating more leads for your brick and mortar business with social media from last week. I think you were spot on with Yelp being critical but I also think Facebook retargeting could be another key piece to the puzzle. Check out this usecase and retargeting with Facebook Custom Audiences”
I think that feedback shows I cared about our conversation and that my solution can provide a specific, relevant benefit to them (again maybe in a way they haven’t fully explored).
Excited to implement this change and see where it goes!