Every CEO and sales rep has been there before: You nail the initial sales pitch, send a detailed follow-up email, and then... radio silence.
Or even worse, the prospect stops responding after your final sales meeting right before you were about to close on them.
It is probably one of the worst feelings ever, and you're not alone if you've experienced this before.
But, the good news is that there are simple strategies you can utilize to prevent being ghosted ever again in the first place!
To ensure that you never get ghosted again, we have five tips that you and your sales team should immediately add to your sales process.
If you implement these strategies, you will not only decrease your odds of being ghosted, but also close more sales in general!
Right here is where ghosting stops! Implement these tips to close out your sales cycle - radio silence-free!
What is Considered as Ghosting?
Ghosting is a 21st-century term coined for situations when someone cuts off communication with you with little to no explanation for why.
In b2b sales, ghosting occurs when a prospect stops responding to you at some point in the sales process. Many times, they are never to be heard from again.
However, just because you don't get super-prompt responses from prospects after phone calls or emails doesn't mean they are ghosting you. Sometimes, they plan on getting back to you but have several other tasks to take care of first.
With that said, what amount of time in sales is considered a lot of time? And, at what point is that time an indicator that the prospect is ghosting you?
Generally, three days of hearing no response is considered ghosting in the b2b sales world.
While there are many possible exceptions to this rule of thumb, your chances of ever hearing back from the potential client significantly drop after three days of radio silence.
Also, the farther you are in the sales cycle, the more likely you are being ghosted if it takes three or more days to hear back.
If the potential client isn’t ghosting you, then what could they be doing?
The answer to that could be anything.
It is important to keep in mind that, while your number one priority is to make the sale, the client has a million other tasks to do.
Therefore, don’t panic if you do not hear back right away.
Instead, make specific moves to try and get them back on track to finding their solution.
And if you can’t get them back, learn from the situation and apply our anti-ghosting tips for when you encounter your next potential client!
What to Do When a Prospect is Ghosting You
So, your prospect is currently ghosting you... what do you do now to get them back before they drop entirely off the face of the earth?
Or, even worse, before they find someone who is not you to help solve their problem?
Here is a quick play-by-play on what to do when a customer ghosts you:
1. Create a pleasant climate for them to come back to: As much as you might want to go off on the prospect, DO NOT do that!
If something went wrong during the first part of the sales process, don’t make it any worse.
Instead, leave a voicemail and let them know that you want to check-in on them. Ask questions to turn the table back on them. That will signal that you care about solving their problem.
Then, subtly regain control by offering them a couple of different time options to reconnect in the following days.
2. Get facetime with them: If your prospect comes back around, get them on a video call rather than an email or regular call.
When you are on the call, make them feel like they are in control by asking a lot of questions.
The more time they spend talking, the more they feel in control. That is a double win for you! Not only do they feel good, but you are getting the information you need to help solve their problem!
Don’t forget to add in additional psychological sales strategies, such as:
- Social proof and expert proof
Once you have the client back in your hands, set up the next sales meeting for ASAP!
3. Send a postcard: If your client does not respond after your check-in voicemail, send a final break-up email.
The tone of it should be a kind of “wish you were here” like you would feel from a postcard.
Let them know that you hope they found a solution to their problem and that you are closing out their file now.
You may be surprised to know that many clients jump back in the game after hearing, “I hope you solved your problem”!
Why You Get Ghosted By Potential Clients
Ghosting is a widespread challenge in sales and business as a whole.
At first, you might think that in a professional environment where many stakeholders are involved, that it would be uncommon. However, you would be wrong to think so!
But, the truth is, the most likely reason you get ghosted after proposals, phone calls, or even in-person meetings is innocent. Even though ghosting is painful, it usually has little or even nothing to do with you or what you are offering.
The most likely reason a prospect ghosts you is because you let go of control of the sale.
At some point in the sales process, you let go of your grip. That momentary lapse in grip allowed the potential client to slip out of your hands.
As a salesperson, it is your job to guide the prospect all the way from the initial point of contact to the signing of the contract. At no point should you deviate from that role!
You control the prospect not because you are a control freak, but because:
- You know you have the correct solution for the prospect
- You understand that the prospect's monkey mind will lead them off course
First off, as the sales rep, you know that what you are selling is the solution to the prospect's problems. The entire reason you are there is to help them realize that you have the solution!
When you hold it in your hands, all you need to do is guide the prospect to it. If you let them take the lead themselves, they can quickly lose sight of the solution you hold.
Second, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the prospect. While it may be your only job to close the sale, they have many other things to do.
And, the second that they get off of the phone with you, a million other tasks and people are in their head.
Therefore, it is easy for them to forget about you, even if they like what you have to offer. Classic monkey mind at its worst!
With that said, your job is to take control of the sales process!
You know that you hold the solutions that the prospect needs. All you need to do is keep them on track and not let them stand in their own way!
How to Not Be Ghosted By Clients Again
The best way to deal with ghosting is to prevent it from happening altogether.
To do that, all you need to do is take control of the sales process.
Leave no opportunities for the potential client to run out the door and turn into a ghost!
These are the 5 best tips that you can start practicing right now to prevent being ghosted again:
- Close the time gap: Shorten up the length of the sales cycle
- Take advantage of emotional peaks: Make your offer when the prospect is feeling at their best
- Offer an appetizer: Give the prospect a taste of your service
- Boost your likability: Make it difficult for the prospect to walk away from or ignore you
- Never come unprepared: Go into the first meeting like you are ready to close
How do businesses deal with ghosting?
Simple: They don’t let it happen in the first place.
1. Close The Time Gap
Immediately banish from your mind the idea that the sales process takes a lot of time! It is a lie, and if you believe it, you open a thousand ghosting doors for the client to walk through.
The truth is, you really only need one or two sales meetings before you close the deal. That is, at least, if you have learned how to make the ultimate sales pitches.
And who does not love being able to make a deal quick? Certainly, you do, and the client does too!
The longer you draw out the process, the more opportunities the prospect has to deviate from the course. All of a sudden, they will be talking to your competitor or filling up their schedule with other calls.
As a result, you are left hanging. And, the odds that the client goes in another direction increases.
Therefore, take control of the sales process by shortening the amount of time from outreach to signing the contract. The way to do that is to set up the date and time of the next sales call or meeting yourself!
Go from, “How about we meet next week?” to, “Let’s meet again tomorrow at 9 a.m. or 3 p.m.!”.
You can give them options, but do not ask an open-ended question.
This may seem pushy at first, but you are actually helping the client! By taking control of the situation by choosing the meeting time, they have one less decision to make!
Time can be the difference between the client ghosting you or not. And, it’s a stupid thing to get in the way!
There is a reason why people say timing is everything. Control time and you control the sale because the client has less time to make a break for it!
2. Make an Offer When Emotions Are High
Let's imagine that you are in the middle of your sales pitch. You reach the crux of the conversation where you deliver the perfect vision to the client.
You passionately tell them exactly how you are going to change their lives. The positive feelings are so thick in the air that you can cut them with a knife!
At this point, the prospect is in the palm of your hand.
But then, you make a huge mistake.
You go right from riding that emotional high to dropping into a deadly pit.
Specifically, you go from delivering the passion to following it up with boring technicalities that literally nobody wants to hear. Not even the client.
All of a sudden, the client is disengaged and thinking about something other than you. Even worse, they begin to second guess whether or not you are the right fit for them.
What you should have done is take advantage of that emotional mountain. You should have made an offer right when the emotions were at their highest.
The trick is to try and close a client immediately after their positive emotions are the highest. It is much easier for them to give you a definite yes when they are feeling good.
If you attempt to close on them at an emotional low, you will get a lot of, "we need to think about it" and "we will get back to you".
Before you know it, they will be nothing but ghosts.
And, it isn’t even that they don’t like you or your proposal. It’s just that their monkey mind jumps back into play and makes them rethink everything you say.
Moreover, the door of opportunity for them to ghost you is wide open!
Close that ghosting door by delivering your offer when the emotional tensions are at their highest and most positive.
It will be significantly more challenging for the prospects to ghost you when you make an offer to them while they are feeling amazing.
3. Offer an Appetizer
Are you still in the very early stages of the sales process?
For example, so far, is your only point of contact with the prospect an email? Or, are you preparing for an initial call?
If so, do not make the mistake of not having something for the prospect to bite on in that first point of contact!
Your sole job as a sales professional is to deliver a solution that solves the client’s problem.
You may have the best solution for them, but they unfortunately don’t know it yet. When they don’t know it, it is much easier for them to ghost you.
Therefore, you need to offer the prospect a little taste of what you have to offer before you even come close to closing them! Moreover, you need to have a trial, tester, or something of value to offer at the very first point of contact!
For example, if you are selling an excellent SEO product, then run SEO diagnostics on the prospect’s website before the first meeting.
Then, reach out to them and let them know that you have important information to share with them when you talk next!
There is no such thing as something for nothing.
Never expect the prospect to give you their time without anything to offer in return. When they know you have something for them, the odds that they ghost you decrease.
As you move through the sales process, keep offering things for the client to bite on! Never leave them empty-handed, or you risk being ghosted.
4. Boost Your Likability
It is much harder for someone to break up with you if they like you as a person.
In the same sense, it is much harder for a prospect to break up with you if they like you as a person.
Increase your likability in the prospect's eyes before and throughout the sales process! That way, they will feel more obligated to stay in connection with you and less likely to ghost.
The idea that likability increases the odds that a prospect sticks around is a well-tested sales psychology strategy.
How do you increase likability when you are still early on in the sales process? There are a couple of ways you can do so, including:
- Offering something of value
- Connecting on LinkedIn
- Directing the process
Like we mentioned in the last tip, there is no such thing as something for nothing!
Offer something of value to the prospect early on in the sales process. They will appreciate your kindness and feel the need to reciprocate the generosity by staying in touch with you.
Second, today's social media savvy world makes it easy for you to stay in constant connection with prospects. Connect with them on LinkedIn to show off a more personal side of yourself!
The more personal you become, the more likable and relatable you appear.
The more likable and relatable you appear, the odds that they ghost you decrease.
Lastly, you may not realize it, but clients like you more when you take charge of the sales process. When you lead the way, they do not need to exert as much energy.
In their eyes, you are doing them a favor by leading them!
Think of b2b ghosting like a break-up. Would you want to break up with your significant other if they are an extremely likable person to be around? The answer is no.
5. Never Come Unprepared
Imagine you are making your final pitch to all of the involved stakeholders.
You have done everything right, they like you, and they are ready to give you a big YES.
The process went faster than you thought it would (because you followed our tips).
But then, they cut to the chase with, "what would you like?".
You are taken off guard. You did not realize how well things were going, and that they were prepared to close right then and there.
All of a sudden, the energy in the room changes because you don't have an answer for them. You knew what to do until that point, but now it is clear to the prospects that you don't.
Because you were unprepared, you opened the door for the client to rethink their decision to go with you. Before you know it, they are ghosting you.
Never EVER show up to any sales meeting without everything you need to close that day! Even if it is the very first meeting, act as if it is the last.
When you have everything you need to close the sale, you close potential doors for the client to run through. You've got all the answers already lined up!
Perhaps the worst place to be unprepared is the monetary portion of your product or service.
Show up to the meeting with a template that outlines the value of what you are offering.
If you show any hesitation regarding the monetary aspect of the deal, it will come across oddly to the clients, and they could ghost you.
Being prepared will show the prospects that you mean business. When you mean business, they are not going to run away from you because they trust that you are the man or woman with the solution!
Final Thoughts on Prospect Ghosting and Preventing Ghosting
How do businesses prevent being ghosted by potential clients? By controlling the sales process!
Your job as a sales pro is to create an environment that minimizes b2b break-ups. The way to do that is to take control of the situation from the initial point of outreach to the signing of the contract.
Our top 5 tips to prevent ghosting teach you how to do just that.
But, before applying these tips, double-check that you have got your sales pipeline down to a science! Properly qualifying your leads will add another layer of anti-ghosting security to your process.