Somewhere… there is a deep, dark abyss where technology and communication devices don’t exist. It’s a black hole of non-communication and it has captured some of your best prospects! These are prospects that you’ve cultivated a relationship with, and who have demonstrated their trust in you by opening up about their biggest challenges and concerns. You’ve worked hard to uncover their needs, and collaborated on various solutions to solve their business problems with relevant workable solutions. You’ve partnered and contracted all along the way to align expectations and effectively plan next steps.
And all of a sudden… like a sucker punch to the gut, your prospect has disappeared and fallen off the face of the earth.
Your prospect won’t return your call, respond to your email, or reach out to you! You’re astonished, because you thought you had developed a strong relationship. You’re worried, because it’s not like them… so now you’re genuinely concerned about their well-being. And you’re even a little hurt because you don’t understand the sudden disappearance, and subsequently you feel abandoned.
Unfortunately, your prospect has fallen victim to the deep, dark abyss of non-communication.
Question: What tactic has proven to break through the abyss, and get prospects that have disappeared, to respond?
Answer: A smart e-mail — but not just any email, here’s the criteria:
- Don’t make them feel guilty or ashamed… the tone of your email must express empathy and understanding.
- Let them know your intentions and showcase your commitment to the project.
- Give them some options or scenarios to choose from… so they can quickly and easily respond.
Following is an example of an email you might send:
Hi Megan -
I wanted to check in with you to see if you’ve had an opportunity to review the revised program we created for XYZ Company. Since I have not heard back from you, I thought I would just reach out again to see where you might be in the process. I know you’ve got a full plate and have been extremely busy, so I thought I’d present three scenarios that might make it easy for you to convey the status.
If you could just briefly look these over and then respond to this email with the one that best fits, that would give me direction on how you’d like to move forward.
1) You’ve reviewed the revised program and you’d like to schedule a time to talk through it.
2) You’ve reviewed the revised program and you are not interested in talking further.
3) You have been really busy and you have not had any time to review the revised program… you just need some more time.
I respect your time and your busy schedule, and I definitely don’t want to keep hounding you. But, I’m committed to this project and I don’t want to drop the ball either. If you could just let me know where you are with this, it will give me the direction I need to serve you better.
The deep, dark abyss of non-communication is real.
And while sudden disappearances are often warranted by ineffective solutions and subpar salespeople, there are times when your prospects are drawn into the abyss by blazing fires that require their immediate attention, deadlines, and of course personal circumstances. If you’ve established a strong rapport with your prospect, and you’ve built trust by demonstrating your expertise and desire to be their business partner, your prospect will usually respond to an email like the one above.
Try this tactic and then leave your comment on how it worked for you, we’d love to get your feedback!
Learn more on how to overcome other hurdles to reach a solution!
Demrie Henry is a Performance Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy