Follow Up Best Practice: Craft Email Messages That Build Better Rapport

Scenario: You want to build trust with your prospect
Contributor: Rachel Miller, Sandler Training

There are a couple of things you can do to support good rapport as you try to convert the email exchange to a phone conversation.

When an email comes in, and you’re ready to respond, mirror and match the way your prospect wrote the email. In other words, if the prospect sent an email in green font, match the color. If the message is written with large letters, reply in large letters; if it’s in small letters, reply in small letters – match the font size.

If the email is personalized, be sure to personalize your reply in the same way. If the email is more cryptic – for example, if they don’t even say “Hi Greg” or “Dear Greg” – then eliminate your greeting as well. Additionally, match the way the prospect closed the email. Perhaps she wrote, “Thanks,” “Sincerely,” or “All the best.” Use your email to do the same.

Mirroring and matching is a great technique for establishing bonding and rapport. People buy from people they like… and people like people like themselves. If you can establish some rapport before you even get on the phone with the prospect, you’ll be that much closer to figuring out whether there’s a problem you can solve… and that much closer to closing the sale.

Here’s another concept that works well to create rapport: Respond quickly! Remember this Sandler principle: “Time kills deals.” Because email is a time-sensitive medium, responding quickly will always be seen as a good thing by the prospect. It helps inspire the person to converse with you on the phone as they perceive you as a no-nonsense person who is “on the ball.”



The “I Just Called You” Email That Gets an 80% Response Rate within 24 Hours

Scenario: After leaving a voicemail
Contributor: Colleen Francis, Owner of Engage Selling Solutions

You tried calling, but your prospect didn’t pick up. To improve your chances of hearing back, send the follow-up email below immediately after leaving a voicemail, and specify a specific date and time for the next call.

This works because clients aren’t always at their desks to take calls. The email is short and directive, making it easy to read and respond to. Prospects can answer with a short response from their phone. The email has an 80% response rate within 24 hours.


The “Still Interested?” Email That Closed a $100,000 Deal with a Client That Went Dark

Scenario: When a prospect goes dark and you get a notification showing they might be interested again
Contributor: Mack McGee, Executive VP & Principal at Groove

Mack McGee was sure he would land a contract with a prestigious client, but they suddenly fell off the map. After multiple follow-ups and no response, he gave up. Nine months later, he received a HubSpot Sales email tracking notification indicating that this lead from nine months ago had reopened his last email. Mack sent him the follow-up email below which ended up closing a $100,000 deal he thought he had lost.


The “Congrats On the New Role” Email That Got a Prospect to Ask for a Meeting

Scenario: When you learn that the prospect is new in their role
Contributor: Caroline Ostrander, Business Development Rep at HubSpot

Caroline saw that a prospect had just started in their role and decided to reach out to immediately build rapport. The result? The prospect ended up asking her for a meeting.


First Touch Emails – Samples

The “Land a Meeting with Anyone” Email That Works 9 Out of 10 Times

Scenario: You’re trying to find the decision-maker in the company
Contributor: Bryan Kreuzberger, Founder of Breakthrough Email

This first touch email leverages existing corporate hierarchies to schedule your first meeting. Nine times out of ten, this template is all I need to book a meeting. 


Sales Email Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

A poorly written sales email can ruin your chances to close a major deal. Here are some of the most common sales email mistakes you can easily avoid: