035: Kill the Follow Up Emails. Do THIS Instead.

March 10, 2023

March 10, 2023
Read time: 4:45 minutes 

I have lost a ton of business because I sent crappy follow up emails after sales calls.

You know, the same follow up emails that we all send and we all get: 

"Hey Bill! Mike with KFE here. Just wanted to follow up to see if you had any questions about the proposal I sent over last week. Let me know if I can clear anything up for you!"

After years of sending this email, I finally started to realize that 95% of the time, I got no response. 

It's like sending the follow-up email was a hail mary. 

One day, I received one of these copy-and-paste follow up emails from someone who pitched me a service. It was SO annoying and I almost deleted it. 

But I caught myself - I realized it was the same email I had sent dozens of times before! 

I asked myself why I felt annoyed and why I hadn't even considered responding to it. Here's what I realized: 
1️⃣ The email added zero value. 
Why should I reply?
2️⃣ The email was low effort.
Did they even care about landing my business? 
3️⃣ There was nothing in there that got me thinking or encouraged me to do anything other than delete the email.
Is this what I can expect from you as a service provider? 

The standard "just following up" email is a low-effort, zero-value attempt. You have to be better than that.

With low-effort and zero-value comes no new clients.

Plus, those traditional follow up emails are really all about us - we want your business - and nothing about them.

We have to make it about THEM if we want them to engage and move forward. We have to put some critical thinking and effort into it if we want them to work with us.

Over the past 7 years, I have discovered some alternative approaches to the standard follow up email. Here are three that I've found to work exceedingly well: 

#1. Share valuable information.

One of the best ways to get a lead to engage with your email is to share something with them that's actually worth THEIR time. 

An article related to one of their challenges
An insightful LinkedIn post about their industry
An inspiring YouTube video that you think will resonate with them

This is a great approach for a few reasons: 

✅ It shows them that you're a thought leader.
✅ It shows them that you're thinking about their goals.
✅ What you share might, you know, actually help them.

Here's what the email might look like: 
Hey Bill

Thanks for taking the time last week to share your story and some of the cash flow challenges your company is facing. I appreciate the honesty and transparency.

I came across THIS podcast this morning and thought about you. They talk about how cash flow forecasts can turn unpredictable cash flows into predictable cash flows.

It's a short interview but SUPER meaty. I think you'll love it.

I know a cash flow forecast would go a long way towards removing some of the uncertainty you talked about.

Have a great Monday! 


#2. A video text message

I LOVE a good, unedited, short video text message for follow ups.

Because virtually no one sends them - so it's an easy way to stand out from everyone else.

Here's how I think about the composition of a video text message follow up.
• Thank them
• Excited to start
• Mention 1 goal they shared
• Mention 1-2 challenges they shared
• Ask if they're ready for the challenge
• Next steps to move forward and get the ball rolling

Here is an example of what that video might look like 👇 

Don't over think the video.
Just send it.

Alternative - if you don't have their cell or don't feel comfortable texting, just drop the video into an email.

#3. Did we already break up?

I used to think that if someone hadn't responded to my first email or my video text then it meant they weren't a good fit. After all, I don't want to work with someone I have to BEG to respond to me.

And while there is truth to that, it's also true that people sometimes have legit reasons for not responding on my schedule. 

So I'll send a hail mary email when nothing else seems to work. 

I call it the break up email.
The reason I call it that is because I ask them if we've already broken up - right in the subject line.

It tends to get attention - and a smile.

For some reason, people tend to respond to that, even when nothing else has worked.

This is what it looks like: 
Subj: Did we already break up? 

Hey Bill 

I know that you want to get your take home pay up so you and your wife can buy that house.

I want that to be true for you as well. 

But we also know that you've got some cash flow challenges that need to be solved and gross profit margins that need help ASAP.

I want those things for you as well! 
And I know that we can make that a reality if we work together.

But we've got to get to work if anything is going to change.

I'm not going to keep bugging you with emails. 

When you're ready, my team and I will be here standing by.

In the mean time, I'm over here cheering for you my friend.


The break up email has an 80% response rate.
It really is my go-to when nothing else works. 

When it's time for the follow up email, remember to make it about them. Always refer to their challenges and their goals. Make sure you're adding value and not just bumping yourself to the top of their inbox.

You will close more clients this way.

Your coach, 
Michael King

Whenever you are ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

1. The Inner Circle - every month my team and I go live and share the most impactful lessons we've learned in our journey to start, scale, and optimize our own CFO firm (including live Q&A). Plus you'll get access to our private community of nearly 150 fractional CFOs.

2. The CFO Academy - This is a 7 week deep dive into the exact playbooks that I use to run my firm, KFE Solutions.

3. If you'd like more amazing (and free!) content about starting, scaling, or optimizing your Fractional CFO firm check out: 
→ The CFO Report on YouTube (if you love video)
→ The CFO Report on Apple Podcast (if you prefer audio)

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