Do you ever have clients and prospects who don’t call you back after you’ve spoken or sent a proposal or quote?
You know what I mean: you’ve spent time on the phone discussing their needs, an opportunity is evident, the client seems keen enough, you’ve sent a proposal or quote and suddenly, things go silent despite your follow up calls and messages.
But here’s a nifty little e-mail message that seems to be getting a response.
Subject: Mike, can you do me a favor?
I have a quick favor to ask.
I am following up on the proposal I sent you regarding __________ (your product or service) and how it can ________ (briefly describe the benefits the client will derive). I’ve left a couple of voice mail messages and e-mails but as of yet we haven’t been able to connect.
Can you do me a favor leave me a voice mail message or send me an e-mail on where you are at in the decision making process?
If things still look good, great. If not, no problem. In either case, it would help me with my planning and follow up (not to mention getting my boss off my back).
I appreciate the gesture and look forward to your e-mail (or leave me a message at xxx-xxx-xxxx).
This message works for a number of reasons. First, the subject line is intriguing. It uses the prospect’s first name which tends to catch the eye and draw the reader into the message. And next, it creates interest because it asks for a favor. A favor is an unusual request. It is somewhat personal and that makes it compelling. You can bet the recipient will read further.
Second, the opening line reinforces the ‘personal’ request. Note the use of the word ‘quick’ which tells the reader that the favor won’t take long.
Third, the e-mail provides a quick summary of the situation by reminding the prospect about your product or service AND the benefits the client might derive. This is important because it reminds the prospect why they originally requested the information from you. In other words, it can help remind them of the need.
Fourth, the message lays on a little guilt by saying that you left a ‘couple’ (which really means more than two) voice and e-mail messages. The rebuke is very soft and cushioned by the phrase, “…but as of yet we haven’t been able to connect.” These words gracefully imply that perhaps the prospect has tried contacting you but you weren’t available. They’ll feel less guilty but it makes it a little easier for them to respond.
Fifth, the ‘favor’ is clearly defined: an e-mail or phone call regarding the status of the sale. The e-mail makes a ‘negative’ response easier to give if that’s the case (“no problem”), and it also suggests that the rep is getting some heat from the boss because the prospect hasn’t responded. Again, the clever and subtle use of guilt.
The e-mail concludes on a positive tone.
This message will get you a good response rate. It has a reasonable and polite tone and because it asks for a simple favor, it is hard NOT to respond.
Give it a try and see for yourself.