Q4 is a special time of year – Thanksgiving is coming up, there’s the prospect of a white Christmas, and in the business world, it’s the last chance to push for new business before the end of the year.
Everyone in sales knows that frustration. We work so hard to get someone on the phone, book the demo, and negotiate price points, and then all that seems for naught when a prospect goes radio silent. No more responses to emails or voicemails, and the days since the last conversation get higher and higher in number.
Sometimes it’s the right decision to let a prospect go as it’s truly a lost cause. Learn from it and course correct from the ground up next time. However, when you’re facing a ghosting situation on a major deal, fret not. Here are some ideas on how to get them back into discussions.
Instead of begging for their attention, try playing a bit hard-to-get by simply walking away. Be professional but set a deadline; if they would like to continue discussions, they’ll need to reply by X date, otherwise you’ll be closing the paperwork on the account. Really helpful if you have a proposal out there.
Bring in the BIG GUNS: Option A, The Introduction
Great tactic if you haven’t introduced your boss before. Have them reach out privately with “I’ve been working with (your name) on (company name’s) deal and thought it was time to introduce myself….” Getting someone’s Senior’s attention can often perk ears.
Bring in the BIG GUNS: Option B, Double Clutch
Team up with your boss, cc them in an email and have your boss follow up quickly with a few personal comments; if you’ve got a busy boss, draft the email for him/her. Double the space in the inbox and demonstrate their importance by bringing a senior person into the mix.
This may sound a bit stalker-y. And let’s face it, it is. But it’s often effective. Don’t leave a voicemail every time you call. Try different phone lines (mobile, another office, meeting room, etc.). Always handy when you catch them for a quick 10-20 second conversation to get a status.
If lots of people are cc’d, sometimes everyone is assuming someone else is replying. Send a “Private Note” email (curious subject line isn’t it?) asking the individually directly for an update.
Go Over Their Head: Last Ditch Effort
If you think the deal isn’t there any more, go directly to your point of contact’s boss. You might annoy the middle person but if the deal isn’t there, does it really matter? Don’t know the boss? Then you’re single threaded and you need to avoid this on your next deal.
Of course, a lot of this can be avoided if we set expectations and manage meetings up front. Leverage up-front contracts to enable a hook for you to tie back into at the end of each meeting. Also don’t just give away key information like pricing unless you’ve sold on value and understand the decision-making process and agreed-to timelines.
So what’s your sales tactic to get cold opportunities heated up again this Holiday Season? Let’s have a discussion on how RelPro can further help with Alerts, research and identifying who you should be talking with.