Help Your Sales Reps Get More from Their "Out of Office" Reply

Help Your Team Get More from Their Sales Out of Office Reply | The Brooks Group

How do you get your salespeople to continue selling, even when they’re on vacation?

You coach them to make the most of their out of office message!

The auto-reply message is something most salespeople don’t give a second thought to—but it’s valuable real estate in a prospect or customer’s inbox.

That’s because when someone emails your sales reps, they’re expecting a response. If the reply is done right, the prospect or customer is likely to read it—and potentially take action.  

Here are 8 tips to help your sales reps improve their out of office or vacation responder replies:

1. If possible, create a more compelling subject line:

The generic “Out of Office” subject line won’t stand out in your client or prospect’s inbox.

Unfortunately, there’s no real workaround for this in Outlook. But other email programs including Gmail do allow you to create a custom auto-reply email subject line.

Here are some examples to give your salespeople some ideas:

  • Sorry I missed you!
  • Since I’m out of my office, here’s a consolation prize 
  • If it's an emergency call me at (555) 123-4567

2. Promote a product or service:

Have you just launched a new product or service? Have your reps use their out-of-office reply to give anyone emailing them the "inside scoop."

3. Highlight professional development:

Perhaps your sales reps are out of the office for a professional development program (a sales training course, public speaking seminar, or industry event, for example).

Suggest that they include a line explaining why they’re away and how the course or program will help benefit their customers once they return home.

4. Include a valuable piece of content:

Your marketing department may have an eBook, whitepaper, or recently published blog post that your prospects and customers would likely find helpful.

Have your reps use their auto-reply emails as an opportunity to share it.

5. Provide value with free tips about your product:

Chances are your reps are receiving an email with a question about one of your products or services.

The next best thing to a personalized response from the salesperson is an automated response with tips on where to find the right answer.

Linking to a resource library, FAQ page, or how-to blog post could be extremely helpful to a person looking for answers right away.

6. Link to social media networks:

As long as your salespeople are active on social media and using their platforms to provide value, suggest they promote them in their auto-reply.

It can be a good way to jump-start their social selling strategy.

7. Include a promotion code:

If you happen to be running a promotion that makes sense to share, encourage your reps to include it!  

8. Post testimonials:

A solid client testimonial is a fantastic way to convince your prospects and customers of the value your offering provides.

Your salespeople can weave in some humor by prefacing the testimonial with something like, "People think I do a good job even if I go on vacation every now and then..."


With just a few tweaks, the often overlooked out-of-office message can be an incredibly useful tool for your salespeople.

Have them focus on making the messaging compelling and valuable, and they’ll be able to exercise their sales effectiveness even while away on vacation.

Looking to make the most of downtime this summer? Why not help your sales team sharpen their skills with a customized training program from The Brooks Group?

Choose from a full offering of programs designed to give your sales team an edge over the competition. Learn more here.

You may also be interested in this watch-on-demand briefinar:

How to Develop a 4 Step Action Plan for Achieving Sales Target


Jeb Brooks

As the Chief Culture Officer of The Brooks Group, Jeb Brooks is responsible for the initiatives that create and maintain a strong company culture. Jeb believes fervently that companies don’t grow, people do. The purpose of The Brooks Group is to help team members grow as people and professionals so that they can help clients do the same. Jeb’s work is centered around identifying opportunities for everyone to push their comfort zones and extend beyond their limits.

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