The ClientWise Blog

Breakup Emails as Prospecting Tools? Like Totally Awesome!

Posted by Chris Holman on Feb 19, 2014 11:25:00 AM

If the sales process for financial advisors is like the dating process, than breakup emails are a disruptive tool that is intended to trigger an emotional reaction (and response) from the object of your affection. 

[Full Disclosure: This sales idea is “totally” adapted from this post by Anum Hussain, who is inbound marketing manager for Hubspot, inbound marketing experts who develop tools for email marketing, social media marketing, and much more.]


When you look at your sales pipeline, it is likely that you have prospects that run the gamut in their level of interest of working with you…ranging from high to low. Within this spectrum, there are prospects that are truly never meant-to-be, false paramours who populate your pipeline giving you the false sense that your dance card is full. To make matters more confounding (and somewhat irritating), these prospects are completely willing to accept your phone calls, emails, research, white papers, or whatever.


Yet, despite your best efforts, they never fully engage. So…what to do?


How about a breakup email?


Subject line: Should I Stay, or Should I Go?


I left a voicemail for you today.

I’ve tried to reach you a few times recently to continue our discussion on how you might better organize your financial life. I haven’t heard back. This tells me one of three things: 

  • You’re all set with your current financial status quo, and if this is the case please let me know and I won’t ever contact you again.
  • You’re still interested but have been super busy, and have not been able to get back to me.
  • You’ve fallen and can’t get up. If this is the case, please let me know and I’ll call 911 for you.

Thanks very much. Whatever your choice, is fine with me. I am glad to help…or not.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Comments on this approach:

  • The email above is a close facsimile to one used by Hubspot, where they have experienced a 33% response rate.
  • Note the glib tone. This works on many prospects because it is direct, different, and uses humor effectively. However, some prospects may take offense at the email’s breeziness. This is your call on when best to use.
  • Breakup emails are meant to trigger an emotional response. However, if the prospect never really cared about you in the first place, they’re not going to care now.
  • This email also presumes that you’ve offered valuable knowledge as the sales process has evolved.
  • You want to make it clear to the prospect that you are breaking up. In effect, you are saying, “Remember all of those interesting ideas and observations that we’ve shared together? They end today.”
  • Finally, don’t end it too soon. Although non-responsive or unilateral prospect relationships can be frustrating, the truth is that we are all busier today. Also, it generally takes many prospect “touches” (7? 10? 15?) before a prospect becomes a client. A sales breakup email is only effective if you’ve put in a true effort to engage and communicate with the prospect.
We trust you find this helpful...or at least interesting.



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