How to avoid the "just checking in" circle of death

by Steli Efti
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Hey there - I’m just checking in on our last conversation… Hey there - I’m just checking in on whether you saw our proposal… Hey there - I’m just checking to see if you had a chance to review our…

Ok. We get it.

You’re just checking in. But here’s the thing:

So are hundreds and hundreds of other sales people trying to get your prospect's attention. There’s no question that “checking in” can be an effective strategy, but it can quickly go south when all you’re doing, week after week, is checking in with your prospects and leads.

There’s two potential downsides that can come from sending “check-in” emails over and over.

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You can annoy your prospect

According to Lifewire, each day the average office worker receives 121 emails...121 emails. You can be certain that the average office worker with buying power receives similar or MORE correspondence than that each day. Especially when you consider the rise of social media tools, like LinkedIn, being used in sales – there’s little doubt in my mind that your prospects are being hit with “check-ins” from all directions.

If you’re simply writing them to check-in, you’re most likely annoying them. The first check in is likely fair game but the third, fourth, and fifth check-ins can come across as good ol’ fashioned spam. But don’t stress – keep reading. There’s a better way! 

You blend in with everyone else

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This is the second reason “checking in” with prospects over and over is not advised. A lot of sales people make this mistake, so by you doing it, you’re going to be viewed by your prospects as being just like every other sales “pro.” That’s not where you want to be. 

So what can you do to avoid being annoying & blending in?

There are three very straightforward, yet effective, ways for you to do it. This is how you ensure you don’t fall victim to the “just checking in” circle of death:

Be hyper-personalized in your follow ups

Did you have a call with your prospect already and learn a few interesting insights about their business? Maybe you learned that they were going to be hosting a customer conference in the coming weeks. Or maybe you learned that your prospect was working on a new product launch. Whatever it was that you learned…

Reference it.

Talk about their situation and the things that are going on in their life. Ask questions about the things they shared with you and demonstrate an interest in not just winning their business but learning about their role, company growth and future success.

This is where the best inside sales reps differentiate from the rest. They recognize the importance of relationships and take the time to nurture them. 

Add value to your prospects life in the follow-up 

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Personalization is great for avoiding the “check-in” circle of death and personalization that comes with value is gold. This might require a bit of support from your marketing team, but the idea here is to ensure that when you reach out to the prospect that you have value to add to their situation, account, or business.

Here are a few simple things that you can do that add value to the life of your prospect:

  • Share a sample report
  • Share a relevant blog post
  • Share a new white paper
  • Share a timely ebook
  • Share a case study
  • Share a new product update

All of these things give value to your prospect that can help them learn something new or educate people on their team. If you can empower your prospect with value to assist in selling your service internally or better understand what you do. It’s a win-win. 

Inject your own personality into your “check-in” email

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The other thing about most “check-in” emails that result in no-responses from prospects, leads, and even existing clients, is their cut and paste approach.

So many of these emails sound just like every other “check-in” email, that many people often wonder if every sales pro is using the same template. You have a chance with every email you send to stand out a little bit more than your competition by showing personality.

When I say personality, I’m not saying you have to come across loud and proud. I’m just saying you have the opportunity to stand out by getting out of the standard “corporate speak” and embrace a bit of human touch. If that means talking about your weekend, asking about their kids, sharing an emoji, or even sending a recipe to a great dish – whatever it is that shows another layer of your personality – find a way to inject it into your email.

Sometimes a slight tweak in language makes a difference. Our own reps for example like to use the phrase "How are things moving along in Close?" instead of "just checking in". One of the advantages of using that phrase is that it's also more specific and focused and reduces a tiny bit of mental friction for the person on the receiving end—and in the middle of a busy day, that little bit can be the difference between a response and getting ignored.

So here’s what you should do next:

Cancel every single generic, non-personalized “check-in” email you already have scheduled to go out to your prospects ASAP!! That might scare you. But by taking this stance, you have an opportunity to increase the likelihood of actually getting responses and turning those “check-ins” into checks in the bank.

If you’re not walking away from the generic approach cold turkey, that’s fine. I get it. So start small! Take the time this month to send 10 check-in emails that are highly personalized, value driven, and with a dose of personality.

Report back how it goes and if you’re not seeing the results you’d like, send us a tweet with a screenshot of your outreach and we’ll help you out. Until then...go get’em!

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