An email sales action plan is a framework for the sales cycle of your business. Probably your typical sales cycle is this… a lead comes into your company, you put forth effort to land this new lead and then after a few weeks the communication fizzles out. Our sales action plan template will increase the chances of converting a client lead to a PAYING client over the course of a year.
The reality is even if you don’t land the current project your lead might change jobs or have another project later. This simple sales plan allows you to stay top-of-mind, and that’s a good thing. Staying top-of-mind could even result in this lead referring you to their friends as well.
Let’s be honest, e-mail takes so little time that it won’t kill you to send tactful, warm email to your leads based on a simple schedule. These emails take only a few minutes, but it can help you build a relationship at very little time cost.
An email hits your inbox. It’s an introduction email from a friend to a new lead or an email from your website’s contact form. The lead is interested in your services. Go on, take a moment to giggle inside. Let’s make some money!
Reply to this lead with your standard sales funnel process. If you’ve properly qualified this potential client, within 3 days you’ll probably be on the phone to talk business.
You should use this first call to judge whether the client’s project is something you want. So go ahead and ask exploratory questions. Probe into what they’re trying to accomplish. Not only does this build trust, it also establishes you as a professional with a healthy dose of standards and conviction.
The important thing is, by the end of the call, you must outline the next steps of action.
Maybe it’s “tomorrow I’ll send you a proposal” or “you’ll have the answer to those questions by tomorrow,” but either way, outline the next steps and the deadline very clearly.
Within 1 hour of the call, follow up with a reminder of the next steps.
Set a calendar alert for this deadline or use followup.cc to remind yourself. Again, it’s about proving that you know what you’re doing. Nothing turns a potential client off more than being unable to keep your word. If the action items are required from the lead, follow up the day the items are due.
Somewhere in the next 1-14 days you’re either going to land the project or it’s gonna fizzle away for various reasons. If you land the project, then great. Do your best work and good luck to you as well. However, for the purposes of this post, let’s assume the lead didn’t move forward with your services.
But let’s not give up on this lead!
Around Day 45, email the lead asking if their project ever moved forward. Cite something that made you excited about the project. Write something like the note below.
“Hey Gary, did your project ever move forward? I was really excited about this project because it was going to allow us to design on iOS7.”
Maybe you hear back and maybe you don’t, but the key is still to stay top-of-mind for them.
Email the lead again. This time though, ease up on the sales. Go with more friendship. Write something like the sample note below.
“Hey Gary, I hope all’s well. I saw this –insert something possibly related to their work– and wanted to make sure you saw it. If you’re ever in –insert your town– I’d love to buy you a coffee or tea.”
Email the lead again, giving them an update on your company. Maybe you just launched a new client project, maybe you wrote a great blog post, and maybe you hired someone awesome.
This is a mix of sales and personal relationship building. This far out from initial contact, it’s not really about closing the deal anymore. The more important thing is to show how good of a human you are. This way, you tell your lead that even though things didn’t work out, you’re still building bridges.
One year from the day they first contacted you, follow up again. This email will depend on how your relationship has or has not developed.
At this point, you’re either developing a relationship or the lead has told you to stop emailing them. Hopefully it’s the former. But if it’s the latter, you need to cut your losses. Again, life goes on.
You might also send all your leads an email on certain holidays, be different though. Pick a funny or unusual holidaylike “Presidents Day” or Jan 6th (Bean Day). Happy Bean Day!
Implement this framework and share the results and we’ll improve this plan together.
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