Here’s Why Your Break-up Email Isn’t Working

Here’s Why Your Break-up Email Isn’t Working

Being ignored is an inescapable part of the sales profession. Whether purposefully or not, everyone in sales inevitably finds themselves being ignored by their prospects at one point or another. In short, no response is no surprise.

Engagement is founded on mutual value, so the foundation of your outreach must also be value-driven. But of course, this is by no means a guarantee.

Through no fault of their own, Sales Dev will simply fail at cracking the code of an executive’s inbox, despite the deeply relevant and well-crafted email. At any given stage in an AE's funnel, a prospect will ghost them, leaving them stranded and without a deal nor closure as to why.

For one reason or another, when all is lost, a break up email is often sent. It essentially boils down to “ok I give up, I get it, I’ll go now.”

And majority of the time, they too, are ignored.

The vast majority of break up emails don’t get a response because value has yet to be established.

By letting you leave, prospects aren’t losing anything in the process. If they were, they’d respond.

It’s all about a foundation of value

If a cold prospect isn’t responding to your cadence, however generic or personalized, it’s because they don’t perceive you as adding anything to their lives. You’re not on their radar, so leaving it  means nothing.

If a sales prospect ghosts your meeting and never returns your phone call, or the update on budget never came after the half dozen follow-up emails – chances are they just weren’t compelled enough to respond. Maybe value was never established, or maybe something changed and - poof - it was gone.

While either could be considered socially inconsiderate, it’s not their obligation to give their attention whenever it’s asked – it’s our job, however challenging, to earn it and keep it.

What to send instead

Give, Don’t Ask

The pendulum is swinging towards an expectation of give-first, where buyers gravitate towards value-driven sales relationships where the takeaway is more than your service or offering itself.

How are you making them smarter about their job, their industry, their trends? Trust goes a long way, and it’s not easily forgotten.

If you’re going to send an email that you’re leaving, end on a high note and give them something of value. Including a legitimately interesting article without an ask builds your credibility much more than 30 minutes next Tuesday.

Choose content that is general enough to be scalable on your end, but specific and current enough to resonate. I don’t suggest sending anything created by your company, like a case study, because that’s about you, not them.

Don’t Get Cute

Cute used to work. Then everyone got cute, email became inundated, and now being cute is the direct adversary of authentic. Corny emails get deleted with a sigh of annoyance.

A better angle is “clever.” Break the norm with creativity, and you might be onto something.

Leave with Grace

No one wants to be reminded they ignored you, or told how hard you tried to get in touch. It might feel good as the sender, but it serves you no benefit in getting a response. A simple, “I’ll circle back in a few weeks, and hopefully timing and priorities will be better aligned” is a much better alternative.


Wondering if your break-up email is worth sending? Message me your best break-up email, and I’ll give you feedback on if it’s read-worthy or how it can use some help.


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