So, you have a new hot prospect? You’ve been following-up this lead for months, and finally you nail a meeting; meeting goes great, the client agrees that you can start work, and all of a sudden a month later your new potential client gets cold feet at the alter and decides to stop responding. You message time and again, they see your emails and private messages on WhatsApp and Facebook, and stop replying to you altogether.
What happened, why did a suddenly hot prospect go completely cold?
Don’t fret, it happens to all of us. This is part of the game, there are many different scenarios that play out during this see-saw back and forth affair, and people have different motivations for why they decide to not go all the way despite you offering a multitude of very friendly options that are beneficial to them beyond belief.
I’ve had the luxury (or lack thereof) of having dozens upon dozens of meetings go the way described above. It’s an experience all sales people must go through to get our honorary veteran’s badge in sales.
Trying to figure out why prospects change their mind is a lost endeavour, it could be their budget, it could be multiple decision makers being indecisive, it could be thinking they can do what you offer themselves without needing your services, it could be a million different things. Instead of focusing on what you can’t control, focus on what you can control – which is the way you react to the next meeting by prepping better and ensuring that you improve your level of communication.
So how do you deal with it?
Refine your approach. Analyze your own historical level of communication via emails and messages in both meetings that went well and ended up in a sale, and those that resulted up going cold despite initially agreeing to a deal with you. Perhaps you were too forceful? Followed up one-too many times? Clients can sense a sense of desperation when the messages come too often.
Watch your tone and language, observe certain key-words that you over-use which may have a negative connotation like “I hope”, “did you receive my message?”.
Moreover, consider that there are powerful sales tactics you can use to win back lost prospects.
Spread out the amount of time between follow-up messages in the future, you can use a Hubspot Free CRM Tool if necessary to help you keep tabs.
Give it time, patience is important, people have other things going on outside of your sales pitches, and planting seeds and letting them grow is a better strategy than forcefully pushing your way to a sign-up.
If you find that your prospect has slowed responses down to a halt after initially seeming highly interested, a great tactic is to let them know that you’re no longer interested in pursuing their project due to a lack of response, and that you will cease communications moving forward unless they approach you first.
One of the most least understood aspects of selling is the art and illusion of not only appearing busy, but believing that you do not need their business in order to be successful. That psychology is extremely empowering, it frees you of the thought that you’re overly reliant on one prospect. There are plenty of fish in the sea, continue going after others and growing your business, and in due time your prospects will come around when they see that you’re not desperate for their business (since they’ll believe you’re more interested in what’s in their pockets rather than genuinely helping them achieve their goals).