When sales prospects stop taking your calls, it’s never a good sign. It probably means one of these things:
- Your prospect cannot get enough budget money.
- Your prospect is too busy with higher priority projects.
- They are working on this project with a competitor.
- You’re working with a non-decision maker and the opportunity was never identified as a priority with the actual decision makers.
- Your prospect has a difficult time with conflict and saying no is hard for them.
First, Ask ‘Why’?
Instead of automatically jumping to the finish and trying to find out whether the deal is go/no go, it’s best to try encouraging the deal, whether won or lost, to be a learning experience. If it was lost from the start, then try to find out why. This will make you better in the future, and hopefully stop avoidable mistakes.
When you are faced with an objection or do not receive a response, ask WHY?
As a result, your lost customer might be motivated to keep you in mind when they are ready to buy again or when they know someone who might benefit from your products or services. They know that you care about every sale, and are willing to go that bit further.
Be Persistent, Don’t Stalk
At the conclusion of every meeting think about what needs to happen next and then schedule this event with the prospect before you end the meeting. Make sure that you have scheduled calls, instead of just calling out of the blue. You are probably going to be calling when they are busy, and they will not take your call. Without a next scheduled event, your deal is in trouble.
Get More People Involved
A lot of salespeople only target one person in the sales process, but it’s hard to create any momentum or accountability with only one person involved. Before making any calls to other executives, it’s a good idea to call your primary to let him know what your intentions are.
Always make your intentions clear
Alleviate Their Guilt
If you’ve left multiple messages for your prospects, they could feel guilty for not responding. Ironically, when people feel guilty they will continue to avoid you. To end this cycle, you need to empathize with them and let them know that it’s OK for them to avoid you. The sincerity will be appreciated, and you might even win the sale.
Change the Way You Make Contact
If a prospect hasn’t responded to an email you sent within 5 business days, call to ask them if they received it. Likewise, if they haven’t responded to a phone call, send them an email. Everyone has their own preference as to which way they like to communicate. Experiment, and make a note about each client.
Have Some Fun – and Take a Risk!
Assess the risks. If the deal is not going to close, it’s best to go over your contacts head to find the person/executive who will be most affected by the loss of this sale. The risk of losing the deal is actually lower by doing this than if you go ahead and continue what you are doing right now. By going over his head, you can speed up getting to either a yes or no.
Relegate to Your Drip Campaign
Once you are sure that they are not interested, use your marketing team to send your client something interesting and of value (not just advertisements) every month or quarter. This will help to keep you top of mind for when the time is right for them to make a decision, or go looking for a supplier.
Using these tactics can help turn soul-saddening lost sales, into learning experiences, or better yet won deals! Not every point is useful in every situation, but they are good guidelines to assess each different deal that you have open. Always ask why!