You have a hot prospect who seems really keen to move things forward and become a customer and then they suddenly go cold. Your emails and calls are not returned, and you can’t get hold of your prospect. The trail goes cold and you move on, but there is always that “what if” in the back of your mind. If this happens once or twice, there is no cause for alarm, but if it is a recurring problem, you need to solve it.
What causes prospects to fall off?
- Wrong Timing
You may have the right product at the wrong time. The prospect could be undergoing financial constraints, doing a reorganisation or be experiencing personal problems. Or, they simply don’t need your solution but are afraid to disappoint you.
- Wrong Product or Service
If you can’t get hold of your prospect, it may be that your product or service isn’t right for them. They are interested in your type of solution but when you make your proposal, or they look at what you are offering more closely, they realise it will not work for them. The prospect will see it futile to continue engaging with you and fall off.
- Your Competition Beats your Offer
You may not have done enough to convince your prospect that they should choose you over your competition. If the competition beats you to the finish, the prospect sees no need to continue to engage with you.
- Your Prospect’s Priorities have Changed
Your prospect may have a lot on their plate and for whatever reason, your project has dropped from the top of their priority list.
If this is a regular occurrence, you need to take action quickly before it does irreversible damage to your performance. So, how do you deal with the situation when you can’t get hold of your prospect?
1. Keep Pushing
According to research, it takes 8-12 interactions before a deal is successfully closed. Do not be discouraged if you don’t hear anything by the 7th attempt. Keep trying and don’t give up until you get an answer. It may be that your prospect has had a busy few weeks and simply hasn’t got around to contacting you. If you give up at the first hurdle, you won’t get anywhere.
2. Leave a Voicemail
While your calls may be unanswered, your voicemail will definitely be heard. Leave a very specific question on whether the prospect wants to go ahead with the deal or not. It would be better to have a clear ‘No’ than to have a wall of silence because at least you can move on. Ensure that you tell your prospect that you’ll call them back if you don’t hear from them. This will encourage them to return your call.
3. The ‘Forgotten Email’ Trick
This works by asking the prospect if he/she might have missed the last email. The trick is in doing it in a light-hearted way that prompts a response; “Hi! I was just wondering if my last mail got buried under all the other mail in your inbox.”
4. Go Over Their Head
If there is someone you can contact that might be able to put you back in touch with your prospect, do it. It may not be the moral way to go about things, but you’re entitled to an answer. They may be able to provide you with a reason as to why your prospect isn’t getting back to you and allow you to move on.
5. Tell Them You Will Stop Contacting Them
Send your prospect an email to say this is the last email you’ll send them since you haven’t heard from them for X number of weeks. Ask them to contact you if they are in fact still interested in your services and try not to burn any bridges.
When you can’t get hold of your prospect, it can be extremely frustrating and reconnecting with your prospect requires tenacity and persistence. The trick is to keep showing the prospect that you have the best value and to remain polite, friendly and approachable. If you get angry and frustrated with your prospect, they certainly won’t want to work with you now or in the future. So, remain professional and don’t give up until you get an answer!
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