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Why Prospects Ghost You And What To Do About It

Article By John Chapin

As salespeople everyone has had the situation where a decision-maker told us they were interested, asked us to follow-up at another time, and now after several follow-up calls and e-mails, we can’t get ahold of them and can’t get them to return our calls. So, why are prospects ghosting you and what can you do about it?

The number 1 reason you get ghosted: The prospect was never really interested to begin with.

Solution: Make sure people are actually interested.

If someone tells you to get back to them at another time, you can’t let that sleeping dog lie, you’ve got to ask some questions to make sure there’s actual interest. Keep in mind that the average person does not like to say “no” so instead, they tell you to call back at another time so they can get rid of you for now. If they say they are truly interested, you have to go at least one question deeper and ask something like, “So, is there a particular reason you’re interested in looking at what I have?” It is important to ask direct questions in a nice way to ensure someone is truly interested. If they give you a long time frame like, “Call me back in three months,” open with, “Sure, I’d be happy to call you back then. Let me ask you, what will be different in three months?”

Reason 2: While the prospect may have been interested on the initial call, they’ve forgotten why, they may have even forgotten who you are and that you even called on them.

Solution: Treat your follow-up calls like a cold call.

First, why does someone forget why they were interested or even, who you are? Simple, once you left their office, or ended the phone call, their regular life ensued. They got back to their 73-item to-do list, the 52 hours of work stacked up on their desk, the 46 e-mails from their inbox, oh, and the school nurse called because Johnny fell down during recess and injured his knee and he might have to go to the doctor. After three or four days of this, they get your follow-up call and e-mail. It is imperative that you remind them why they were interested in talking to you. After you identify yourself on the follow-up call, immediately give them your WIIFT (what’s in it for them) statement, as you did on your cold call. People need to be reminded of the benefits you can provide. They have too many other things going on to remember the reasons they should be talking to you.

Reason 3: The prospect is simply super-busy.

Solution: Be persistent with your follow-up.

Back to the 73-item to-do list, 52 hours of work, 46 e-mails, and all the other things people deal with during the day. People are busy and you’re not always their top priority. Keep in mind that 81% of appointments are set after the fourth contact and 80% of salespeople never make it to the fourth contact. You have to follow up with people at least 13 times before leaving your final message about calling them again in six months.

Reason 4: The prospect already made a decision that doesn’t involve you.

Solution: Persist with your follow-up and ask for “the courtesy of a quick response.”

Here are some other things to keep in mind: Use different contact methods to reach people. Try reaching people at different times throughout the day, and always schedule your next call at the end of the current call to lock it down. Speak with energy and enthusiasm, though not over the top, and speak clearly. Similarly, stay positive and keep a good attitude. Make certain you always give people a compelling reason or two to talk to you.

John Chapin is a motivational sales speaker and trainer. Contact e-mail: [email protected]

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