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5 Tips to Keep Your Sales Prospects from Suddenly Going Dark

In sales, it is important to remember not to count your chickens before your eggs hatch. Or, in other words, don’t forget that a sale isn’t final until it’s actually finalized. Sometimes even the most promising prospects can suddenly disappear, or go dark.

Sales prospects go dark suddenly for nearly as many potential reasons as you can think of. You’ve experienced it, I’ve experienced it. That client you’ve been in regular communication with and seemed to have really developed a rapport with can disappear just as easily as the flakey prospect that never seems to get back to in a timely fashion.

And it is difficult not to wonder what went wrong; particularly when you have a potential buyer that seemed very promising prior to their sudden disappearance. Fortunately, there are ways to decrease the likelihood of the disappearing prospect or client. The following tips will help you ensure that you and your target stay in touch, even if they do have to put their purchase on hold temporarily.

  1. Never Behave Desperately in Your Negotiations

Desperation tends to scare people away. It makes them question your underlying motives, your ability to actualize your guarantees, your belief in the product or service that your selling, and any number of other things. This isn’t to say that you should be aloof, uninterested, or unengaged.

Just don’t panic if the prospect you’ve devoted a lot of time to doesn’t seem completely sold after a few conversations. Panic won’t get you anywhere. Not anywhere positive, that is.

 

  1. Avoid Spamming or Acting Like a Digital Stalker

If your lead does go cold, messaging them excessively is not going to reopen the lines of communication. In fact, just the opposite is likely to occur. You have to remember that the sales game is a service industry, where prospects are looking to be wooed a bit.

Harassing a prospect does not increase their interest in your service or product. If a potential buyer becomes otherwise preoccupied, give them some space and time. Most prospects will appreciate your respect of their time and space.

 

  1. Be Consistent in Your Engagement & Responsiveness

While it is important to respect a prospect’s privacy, time, and space; it is equally important that you continue to be vigilant in your responsiveness and engagement. This doesn’t mean leaving a dozen voicemails or anything of the like.

Consistent engagement is mainly about indirect interactions with prospects. A few examples could include-

 

  1. Engage with All Those Involved in the Buying Decisions

If a prospect seems genuinely interested but busy (as many successful prospects are), there’s no need to give up on the company that they represent. Look into who else is involved in the decision making process for buying services or products. It’s quite likely that more than one person is involved in the final decision making process.

When there’s more than one person to pitch to, it never hurts to cover all of your bases. While one person may be too busy to give your service the full attention it requires, another may not be. This is also a potential time saver for all involved.

If the prospect’s decision makers all already know who you are, what you offer, etc. it’s a lot easier for them to bunker down and make a decision quickly.

 

  1. Prioritize Your Prospects

One of the best ways to avoid problems with prospects suddenly going cold is to vet prospects rigorously and predominantly focus on those prospects that are considered high value and responsive. If you do this in the first place, you’re a lot less likely to find yourself anxiously awaiting a response that may never come.

In sales, it is important to be able to pick and choose which prospects are worth a lot of time, and which ones are more unlikely to pan out. Focusing on those prospects that are more promising will increase your sales numbers dramatically.

 

Use These Tips to Up Your Sales Game!

With the use of the advice I’ve outlined here in this blog, you should be able to confidently approach prospects with your pitch and keep the conversation going. And remember, even if a prospect goes dark suddenly, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s over.

Just use these tips, and use your best judgment, and then proceed accordingly.

Koka Sexton

The leader in social selling methodology and ranked #1 in Forbes for social selling. Bringing the science of social selling to the business world and delivering ROI on social media.

15 Comments

  1. Good post Dan, one of the early lessons I learned that has served me well is that when a prospect isn’t calling you back all that means is that they aren’t calling you back. Reps and managers waste so much energy thinking up all kinds of negative scenarios and get wrapped around the axle. All you know is that the aren’t calling you back – that’s it – everything else is speculation.
    The best way to prevent this is to have a solid, agreed to, engagement plan with a clear horizon and defined dates/events.
    Yours in success,
    Chris,

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