Slingshot CEO Bill Golder gives practical advice on how to respond when your prospect won't.
You have had meetings with a prospect and the discussion seems to be progressing and then...nothing. Zip. Crickets.
Your contact won't reply to your emails or voice mails. B2B sellers often anguish over this perplexing scenario.
[TRANSCRIPT] So you’re chasing a big deal, you’ve been working with a number of contacts all seems to be going well, and then all goes silent.
They go off the grid, and you can’t seem to get a response. So what do you do in that scenario?
First thing to consider is that often times when we see this, it means that this particular initiative or this particular need has been deprioritized. It is no longer a priority for some reason.
It could be because there are a number of stakeholders who are not bought into the change. They feel like the status quo is safer.
Continuing to do what they have always done is just fine or it could be at a high level, there are some executives that have determined that there are a new set of priorities that are more important than this one.
So, I want to give you a few ideas on how you tackle that in your follow-up and in your messaging.
This is now a sales process that should be focused on convincing them that there is a need for change. And that need for change really should be built around what risks there are in their business if they do not continue this conversation.
So if they have shared some of those risks with you in your early discovery stage, bring that back to the surface. Highlight things like the importance of getting this particular solution in place by the time they wanted to have it in place.
Perhaps there was some risk to their business by meeting a certain time frame or perhaps there was risk to the business because of some external factors they were trying to avoid or mitigate.
Whatever that is, bring that back to the forefront in your messages, in your voice mails and in your emails. Be sure those points are re-iterated. If you haven’t identified those things, that could be the problem to begin with.
You may need to actually illuminate business risks that they aren’t even aware of - bring unconsidered needs into the conversation. These are things that they are not thinking about that could bite them in their business if they don’t keep this conversation going with you.
Lastly, if you have explored all of those options and you have left countless voice mails and emails, I like to deploy what we might call “The Dear John letter” which is about letting them know that your time is valuable and you respect their time.
If it’s a “no,” I’d rather have a quick “no” than a slow “no.”
Literally prompt them to tell you if they are no longer interested in moving this forward so you can focus your energy and efforts on other deals that have a greater likelihood for you to win.