“Call me back after six months.” 

If you are an SDR, you would have, without a doubt, heard this statement at least once before. It is one of the standard replies (read: objections) an SDR faces during cold outreach. If you spot an SDR move the lead stage to MQL despite hearing this statement on a cold call, then the SDR is still learning the ropes on how to bucket the leads. We not only see the practise of moving these leads to nurture on CRM and sending frequent, relevant emails followed by newcomers but also by best performing SDRs.

What’s the ‘Why’ Behind This Statement? 

The amount of firefighting the prospects do every day to complete their priorities is a different level of persistence. And, “Call me after six months” is an excellent way of closing the conversation for a resisting prospect. 

Don’t you think? 

After six months, when SDRs call back looking at the tasks on the CRM, the odds of connecting again are unlikely and the prospect would have probably forgotten the previous phone call.

The How of Tackling This Statement:

One way to efficiently tackle this brush-off is by sending check-in/ touch base emails, starting well ahead of the scheduled time. These emails are also handy when we encounter the following situations: 

  1. Follow up with a prospect after an initial engagement 
  2. The prospect bailed on you after agreeing to a call 
  3. Get feedback for the product demo (didn’t hear back from the prospect after the demo) 
  4. After multiple reach outs through calls, LinkedIn and sequence emails 

Here are a few critical parameters to consider while writing touch base emails: 

Short and Candid Subject Line:

Sure, “Touching Base” has become one of the widely-used office jargon but using it as a subject line can be a bad idea. Nevertheless, keeping the follow-up email subject casual can yield better email open rates, says this yesware report

Example: Subject: ‘Catching up’ works better than ‘Trying to Connect’ 

Adding Context:

When our objective is to win meetings and not increase open rates, what we send in emails becomes essential. 

“We were in touch X months back, and you asked me to get back in six months. Do you think we can connect this week?” - We see these kinds of emails floating around a lot. Just following up may show we are persistent but not always earn us a meeting. 

While following up, the inclusion of the below aspects can differentiate us from the rest of the touch-base emails:

  • What’s new with the product with value benefits
  • Social proof (recently onboarded familiar customer names) 
  • Having a low commitment, ask as a CTA instead of immediately pushing for a meeting.
Doing away with touch base emails: 

As a sales rep, if I am waiting and not ‘warming up’ the prospect until my call-back day, I am paving the path for the competition. Here are a few ways to replace the check-in emails and have the prospects reach us when the timing is right:

  • Congratulating the prospect on their promotion 
  • Looking at the funding news closely and sending a note
  • Following thought leaders and relevant hashtags in the target vertical 
  • Getting connected with other stakeholders on social so that the brand awareness increases 
  • Looking for common interests and sending notes on upcoming events 

Finally, it’s crucial to remember that it’s never about the number of emails we send but the ‘differentiating factors’ we include in these follow-up emails that will make us stand out from the hundreds of emails flooding in the decision maker’s inbox everyday.

So, SDRs, they’ve given you six months to convert them? Let’s go and get them! 

Acknowledgements : Thanks to Samra Taban for editing the blog. Thanks to Aravindh Natesan for the designs.