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March 11, 2022

What is the greatest fear of every salesperson? It’s not missing a quota or an understocked pipeline — it’s silent prospects that leave deals in indefinite limbo. Is it time to write a break up email?

What’s a break up email?

Salespeople don’t like hearing silence. It is possible to move on if a prospect tells you that they have chosen a competitor or waited to make a purchase decision. A “maybe” response can create the same uncertainty as silence.

Silence can be used to mean anything

  • Did your prospect go on vacation with you?
  • Is your prospect skimming over your email?
  • Is your prospect reading your email?

This is where the breakup email comes in.

Breakup emails are meant to get a response from prospects that you haven’t heard from in a while.

Katharine Derum is a senior sales manager at HubSpot and says that her team receives 33% of the responses to breakup emails.

Breakup emails can be used for closing the communication channel by either confirming that a prospect isn’t moving forward or letting them know that they are still interested, but have been busy.

7 tips for writing a breakup letter

Here are seven tips to help you write a breakup email that works. You can also download breakup email templates right now.

1. Remind the client that your goal is to help

Prospects won’t talk to sales reps who only care about quotas. Remind prospects that your goal is to help their business, not just to get quotas.

Hi, [Prospect name],

I haven’t heard from you for a while.

Last time we spoke, you discussed your pain point and how [offering] could help you [achieve a specific goal] within [a given timeframe].

Are you still interested in continuing our conversation? If you’re not interested, please let me know so I can stop reaching out.

Best, [Your name]

This email is all about the prospect, as you can see. You want to reach out to your prospect because you believe your product or service might be of benefit to them.

2. Keep it short and sweet

It is safe to assume your prospect is busy. The follow-up email does not need to be lengthy. Let’s get to the point.

Hi, [Prospect name],

I am sorry if I have been too persistent.

Are you still interested in talking about your [pain point], especially in areas of X and Y?

If you don’t know, let me know so I can stop reaching out.

Best,
[Your name]

Your prospect can close the deal directly by communicating with you. You can be there for your prospect if they need you, but you don’t want it to be irritating. If the deal is lost it is time to professionally end the relationship and move on.

3. Know when it’s time for you to close the loop

This template is different than the previous two because you are effectively giving the ball back to your prospect.

Hi, [Prospect name],

I have not heard back from you so I assume you have changed your priorities or moved in a different direction.

Let me know if you need my help in the future.

Best,
[Your name]

You can create relief and desire in your prospect by removing all emotion.

Your email will allow them to get out of a relationship they have with another person. It assumes that things didn’t go according to plan. Your prospect can respond in one sentence to affirm that this is true.

If your prospect is still interested, but has not responded to your inquiries, you should make it urgent for them to move on. They should move quickly if they want to make this deal work.

4. Offer value before you walk away

Hello [Prospect name],

I tried to reach you a few times to see if it would be worthwhile to connect about [business objective]. Since I haven’t heard back from you, I will assume that the timing isn’t right.

Here are some resources that can be used to assist professionals in dealing with the [business issue].

  • Resource 1
  • Resource 2
  • Resource 3

If you feel the need for a future connection, you can book time on my calendar by clicking here. I’m always available for help.

Best,
[Your name]

This template assumes that the relationship is over but still offers value and the possibility of connecting if the prospect is interested.

Prospects who aren’t ready to say goodbye feel more urgent if the tone is more matter-of-fact. Prospects will remember you better if they have additional resources available and the option to get back in touch on their schedule.

Although this may not immediately bring you any benefits, it will build goodwill for your company.

5. Send your CEO

Prospects might be hesitant to talk with you as a salesperson but are more likely to do so with your CEO. Send an email for closure.

This should be discussed with your CEO. Explain that you need help moving the deal forward. Ask them to forward any replies to your email to you.

Hello [Prospect name],

My name is X and I am the CEO at [Company Name]. [Sales rep] stated that you saw our product demo recently and wanted to get in touch with me to learn more.

We value your business and are here for you.

Thanks,
[CEO name]

By having the prospect pick up at the last contact point, you have effectively eliminated any communication gaps between yourself and them.

This email is not meant to guilt-trip your prospect, but to re-engage them with conversation. Your top executives may be able to help you give your silent prospect another chance.

6. Make sure to create a follow-up cycle

It doesn’t always mean that a prospect is done with you. Tell them that you will be checking back in six months to keep in touch.

Hello [Prospect name],

Since I have not heard from you in a while, I will assume that [Product/Service] hasn’t been a priority right at this time. I am sensitive to your concerns and will not waste my time.

I will check back in six to twelve month to see if our goals have changed.

Regards,
[Your name]

Being friendly and open will save your relationship and help you to preserve future opportunities. You can create a new thread on any topic you choose to follow up when the time is right.

You don’t have to bombard them with emails. You can also send them a neutral message about an issue that interests you. This could spark a conversation.

“Hi [Prospect name]! How are you? I saw a press release stating that your company will be attending Trade Show X in this year’s New York. Are you going? Let me know if you’re interested in grabbing some coffee. ”

7. Ask a question to provoke a response

You can ask prospects a simple question to reopen communication if they haven’t responded in a while. It could be related the product or deal you discussed, or it could be about their industry or work. This could help to reopen communication.

Hi, [Prospect name],

I hope you have a wonderful week! I noticed that your company has launched a new product this week. Congratulations! How was it for your team and you?

We hope all is well.

Cheers,
[Your name]

 

Conclusion

A break up email can be a great way to get a relationship moving again or to put it to bed. Now that you know where you stand, you can move forward no matter what your prospect says.

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