Sales Quiz: Which Email Will Spur Customer Action?

SCENARIO: You work for a manufacturer who prepares quotes for project opportunities. After submitting a bid, you don't know what's happening. You wonder if you are still in the running or if there's been some delay. You decide to send the prospect an email to find out what's going on.

Which of the six examples below will be the most effective at getting a response? Vote in the poll, then click on the link below to get my humble opinion.

  • REMINDER #1: "It's been 30 days since our last meeting and I'm trying to get a feel for what the team here might need to deliver. By any chance do you have some news about the ABC project? I realize you've got a lot on your plate, but anything that you could share would be appreciated. "
  • REMINDER #2:"I've got my manager breathing down my neck for a forecast. I was hoping you might have some good news about the ABC project, or could give me some idea where it's at right now. Can you help me out with a quick update? I'd really appreciate it."
  • REMINDER #3: "I'm following up on the ABC project and quote I sent you. Do you know the award date? Are we still in the running? As well, do you need any additional support on the project?"
  • REMINDER #4: "It's been 30 days since I prepared that preliminary proposal for you. Since then we've been unable to connect. Now I'm not one to push, but in most cases we'd have circled back to each other by now. Please call me or let me know when you can give this some attention."
  • REMINDER #5: "I have not heard from you in 30 days. While I hate to do it, I'm going to close this file. We can resubmit our ideas once you are in a better position to move forward on a solution."
  • REMINDER #6: "I was reviewing your proposal and did a little math. It seems that the ROI we agreed upon breaks down to $1,500 per day. That means you could have increased your measurable productivity by $135,000 by now. What ideas do you have about how you and I could work together to ensure that you and ABC company begin enjoying these productivity increases soon? This initiative can be a real feather in your career cap and I want to help you get it."

Click HERE for my opinion

The correct answer, IMHO, is NONE OF THE ABOVE!

You should not be using email to have this conversation. In fact, the mere fact that you don't know what's going on shows that you haven't properly developed the account. You haven't properly qualified the lead, you haven't found out who makes the decision, and you haven't discovered and documented how decisions are made.

All of the sample reminders are equally dreadful. They're pushing, annoying, nagging, and likely to be deleted as soon as they're received. What you need to do in this situation is to pick up the telephone and make a call. If you don't get through, leave a message with a time that you can be reached.

What if the prospect doesn't call? Simple. You assume that you're not going to get the business, and you move on. But the real problem is that you're not taking the sales process seriously. Unless you're willing to get into the account and learn about the prospect, the likelihood they'll buy is so small, it's almost not worth the effort.

READERS: Anyone care to disagree? Ten points to whomever can name which of the lame reminders came from (of all places) Sandler?