This is a sneaky post…
Recently somebody on twitter asked me when they should follow up with someone whose made an email introduction in the deal cycle.
After the first conversation?
After the deal has closed?
Never? (Really hope you didn’t say never)
First off, if you aren’t following up with someone providing the results and/or a progress report after they’ve made an email introduction change that. It’s important because it signals that you’re grateful making these people more likely to make introductions for you in the future. Also 90% OF PEOPLE DON’T DO THIS which makes you stand out…
The second reason why you should follow up with someone whose made an introduction has implications about when you should do it…
When I send emails I’m extremely cognizant of all the potential people beyond the recipient who might see or be affected by the email. When you talk about other people, your emails tend to get forwarded. Even when they don’t, the fact that you mentioned someone else might inspire a conversation that previously might not have occurred.
I use this fact to my advantage. Heh : )
You can engineer emails in such a way that the person you want to see a particular message not only sees it, but sees it via the delivery of another person. If they trust that person, this can add a ton of impact to the message.
This is a great strategy to leverage following an introduction.
After our speaking with the connection, I might tell the person who introduced us how awesome I thought the new acquaintance was (assuming I feel that way). I can’t guarantee that this person will then pass along that information, but generally, people like forwarding praise, so there’s a good chance this happens. If it does, this might aid in developing rapport with the prospect.
It’s not a bad idea to also include another detail(s) that you want that person to see. A specific reference to your ability to help them out is a good one! Here’s an example.
Thank so much for introducing me to Chris from TotesAwesomeStartup. He’s such an awesome founder and I could not be more excited about his business. I was surprised that he’s never heard of our solution X. If we were to work together I think we could easily increase his email conversion rate 1.5x! Hopefully, this happens and a beer(s) on me if it does!
Thanks again and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.
Read this again: If we were to work together I think we could easily increase his email conversion rate 1.5x!
Let’s discuss why this statement is so much more powerful when it’s delivered via an email forwarded from [Introducer].
Regardless of whether I mentioned this on the call, Chris now has an email from someone he trusts alluding to my ability to move the needle for his company. There is subconscious power here.
I created the email, but [introducer] forwarded it. I don’t have scientific proof, but I strongly believe that when [Introducer] forwards Chris an email highlighting my ability to help him out, he now associates that recommendation with someone he trusts (Introducer).
If [Introducer] did not have faith in that statement why would he forward it? Working with me all of a sudden seems like a better idea.
So let’s revert to the original question: when should you follow with the person who made you an email introduction to a prospect in the deal funnel?
My belief: throughout the entire process.
I follow up after the first interaction. I follow up after something important happened. I follow up if I haven’t heard back from them. I follow up after the deal is done.
You need to calibrate the follow up frequency with the strength of your relationship so that you avoid being annoying. But the general idea is to leverage communication with the person who made the introduction to make a stronger case for the prospect to do business with you. This logic is entirely dependent on the introducer forwarding your mail or nudging the prospect throughout the process in conversation, but this happens more often than you would think.
Your ability to inspire this to happen is based on the strength of your relationship with the introducer and ability to strategically engineer copy that gets forwarded or discussed. Pssh…start a blog and get good at copywriting.
I try to avoid directly asking someone to nudge a person they introduced to me because it comes off as asking someone to nag another person for me.
No one enjoys doing that. Ever. I think it comes off this way because if the person really wanted to do something with me they’d be responsive.
Takeaways from this post:
1. Always follow up with a progress report after someone has made an email introduction for you even if just to be courteous
2. Realize a ton of the email that you send which mentions other people gets forwarded. Be saavy and use this to your advantage. Me so sneaky!
3. Don’t be afraid to email people multiple times after they’ve made the introduction to keep them in the loop. It only has the propensity to help your cause considering you’re not being annoying
Does anyone else have some creative practices or reasons why following up after someone has made an introduction? Be a sport and share them in the comments!