LC002: How do you follow up with prospects without being annoying?

launchpeer - June 6, 2018

Today’s question:

Today’s question comes from Dave and relates to B2B sales and, specifically, follow-up. Once you’ve planted the seed, how often (and how many times) do you follow up without being annoying?

Jake’s answer:

In the sales industry as a whole, there are a few things to keep in mind. Research has shown that you should follow up eight to 10 times before classifying the prospect as a truly dead lead. However, the same research showed that most cold callers/emailers only followed up two to three times.

The reason for this is because we as sales people automatically assume the reason the prospect isn’t responding is because they don’t want to hear from us. In other words, we jump to the worst possible conclusion.

However, that’s not often the case. Usually it’s just because they’re busy. And we have to fight the urge to believe the worst.

When statics are telling you one thing, but your mind is telling something else, that’s a problem. And you have to figure out how to close the gap between what you think you know and what the industry is telling you is the truth.

A few ways to do this

Set up email sequences that are 10 emails long. Automation takes one’s emotions out of the equation.

The biggest response rates we received at Launchpeer were on the first email and the last two emails. Why is this the case? Because it creates a sense of urgency. By the end of the sequence, prospects know it’s their last opportunity.

If you’re cold calling rather than emailing, the way to take it out of your hands is to hire someone or assign the task to someone on your team. But whether or not you delegate the task, it’s completely ok to follow up 8 to 10 times.

What about frequency?

Make the time between emails shorter at the beginning of the sequence and longer toward the end. For example, space out the earlier emails by a day or two and later emails by a week or two. The same would go for cold calls as well.

Ask Your Own Question

Got questions about startups and/or startup culture? We’ve got answers. Head over to and record your own question to have it featured on the show.

TechCruch Disrupt Giveaway

We’re giving one Founder a free ticket to TechCrunch Disrupt 2018 in San Fransisco. We’re also going to cover the winner’s flight and hotel. You can enter the giveaway and get all the details at

Stay in Touch

Ask your own question
Follow Jake Twitter
Check out Jake’s articles Medium
Jake’s personal site
Check out Launchpeer
Follow Launchpeer on Twitter