Mastering the Art of the ‘Delayed Thank You’: A Strategic Approach to Follow-Ups in Sales


In the dynamic world of sales, effective communication is a delicate dance, and knowing how to follow up without sounding like “that salesperson” can be a game-changer. In this blog post, we unravel the art of the “Delayed Thank You” – a strategic approach that not only maintains your equal business stature but also ensures you stay top-of-mind without resorting to the cliché “just checking in” phrase.

Setting the Scene: The Typical Follow-Up Dilemma

Picture this common scenario: It’s Monday, and your buyer responds to your email, promising redlines to the agreement by Thursday. You promptly express your gratitude. However, come Thursday, radio silence ensues, and the challenge arises – how do you nudge for an update without falling into the trap of incessant “checking in”?

The Traditional Trap: "Checking In" Syndrome

The typical approach involves sending another email, reiterating your inquiry about the status. However, this can inadvertently shift the power dynamic, making you appear desperate or overly eager to close the deal. So, how do you break free from this cycle?

The Strategic Pivot: The "Delayed Thank You"

Enter the “Delayed Thank You” strategy. Instead of immediately acknowledging your buyer’s commitment on Monday, you resist the urge to reply with a customary “Thank you.” Let it chill – an initial awkwardness that sets the stage for a more strategic move later on.

Executing the Delayed Thank You: Changing the Dynamics

Come Thursday, the day promised for redlines, you send a thoughtful reply: “Thank you, Mary. Looking forward to receiving redlines today. I’m traveling at 3 pm, so getting this to me by 2 pm will allow us to get counsel to look at it before I leave. Please let me know if 2 pm is possible.”

Deconstructing the Strategy

  1. **Strategic Silence:** By not replying immediately on Monday, you create a subtle pause that paves the way for a purposeful engagement later.
  2.  **Strategic Reminders:** Your delayed thank-you email now serves as a reminder, gently prompting your buyer without explicitly “checking in.”
  3. **Accountability Setting:** By focusing on a specific timeframe, you shift from asking “what” to “when,” holding your buyer accountable to their commitment.
  4. **Maintaining Equal Business Stature:** The delayed thank-you approach preserves your equal business stature, preventing you from being perceived as an overly eager salesperson.

Conclusion: The Power of the Delayed Thank You

In conclusion, the “Delayed Thank You” strategy is a subtle yet powerful tool in a sales professional’s arsenal. It allows you to strategically follow up without compromising your standing in the business relationship. By mastering this approach, you not only avoid the pitfalls of incessant “checking in” but also elevate your communication to a level that showcases your professionalism and strategic thinking. At the Top One Percenter Academy, we embrace the philosophy of delaying the thank you, not the deal – a mindset that can make all the difference in the competitive landscape of sales.

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