Prospect Hasn’t Responded for 24 Hours? Here Is the Plan

9 min read
Jul 19, 2022

Every sales professional has been there: You knock the initial sales call out of the park. The prospect was totally pumped, but now they have not responded for more than 24 hours.

If the prospect was so excited, why are they not responding?

More importantly, what do you do to get them back?

The hard truth is that 24 hours of silence can turn a fantastic sales deal into a dead deal.

If a prospect does not respond to you within 24 hours of a sales call or meeting, it is a sign that you will lose them altogether.

To stop fewer would-be-awesome deals from crumbling, I am sharing what to do when a prospect does not respond for 24 hours.

Following my process will increase response rates so that you close more deals in less time and with less pushback from prospects.

Twenty-four hours might not seem like a lot, but it is more than enough to kill a deal in the sales world.


Here Is What Most Sales Reps Do When a Prospect Goes Dark


Here is what most salespeople do when a prospect goes dark for 24 hours:

First, a salesperson does a successful round of sales prospecting. They make sales calls to set up initial sales meetings.

Then shortly before or after the initial meeting, the prospect stops promptly responding to messages.

The prospect seemed very excited to move forward. 

However, now they are responding as if they have cold feet.

The sales team senses the prospect is getting cold feet, so they reach out again to confirm they are still in the game.

The prospect responds in some cases. 

In many more cases, the prospect never responds again.

What gives?



Most sales professionals panic when prospects stop promptly responding to emails and messages.

They freak out because they sense the prospect is rearing off course.

Even though they do not know what is happening with the prospect, they react emotionally.

Unfortunately, reacting emotionally never does a salesperson well.

Nobody gets good results when they act out of emotion instead of logic.


Send an Awkward Circling Back Email

After waiting more hours or days to hear back from prospects, salespeople send an awkward circling back email.

You know how painful the circling back email is if you have sent it before!

Nothing is more awkward than having to 'circle back' after you were sure the prospect would move forward.

After hitting the email send button, you go back into limbo.


Wait a Few More Days While Anxiety Skyrockets

The sales teams’ anxiety builds after waiting several more hours or days to hear back.

Salespeople start thinking I should have taken that sales training course.

Or, Maybe I should have listened to that sales tip when they said I was too aggressive?

Moreover, salespeople begin to doubt themselves because they are hanging in the cold.

The more days that go by, the more anxious the salespeople feel.


Eventually, Give Up

Eventually, the sales process comes to a screeching halt.

After several crummy follow-up attempts, the prospect either ghosts or gives an excuse about why they cannot move forward.

As a result, salespeople give up because they do not want to be overly pushy.

The worst part is they did not even get to make a sales pitch!

That said, 24 hours of waiting for a response turned into a total loss.


What can you do with unresponsive leads?


Most Sales Reps Fail to Reconnect With Dark Prospects


Yes, it is possible to re-engage with prospects after not hearing back for 24 hours.

However, each hour that goes by decreases the odds of that happening.

In most cases, prospects who do not respond within 24 hours either:

  • Make an excuse not to buy; or
  • Ghost.

Which one is more painful?

I do not know.

But I do know it does not have to be this way.


The Prospect Makes a Terrible Excuse

After not responding for 24 hours or more, many prospects return to the table with excuses not to buy.

Most prospects come back to the table with one of these excuses:

  1. We are not ready to buy.
  2. We are not sure this is right for us.
  3. We need more time.
  4. Can we talk again in a few months?
  5. We do not have the money.

Moreover, the prospect is telling you they are not interested in you anymore.

Why couldn’t they have just said it right off the bat instead of wasting your time?


The Dark Prospect Turns Into a Ghost

Second and even worse, many prospects turn into ghosts after not responding for 24 hours.

Even though they were pumped after the initial sales meeting or call, they clearly do not care anymore!

Even worse, they do not care enough to say they do not care.

Is there anything worse than pouring your heart and soul out for a prospect who ends up ghosting?

Probably not.


What do you do if a prospect goes dark?


The Future Is Dull If Prospects Do Not Respond Within 24 Hours


Do you think 24 hours is not a big deal?

Do you think it is okay if a prospect does not respond within 24 hours, even though they were psyched after the initial sales call or meeting?

The future of a sales deal is dull if it takes prospects more than 24 hours to respond after a call or meeting.

Each hour that goes by is an hour working against you!


I am breaking it down:


Prospects Are Overthinking to Their Own Detriment

Imagine you are texting your significant other about Friday night plans.

Both of you are excited about the weekend, but then suddenly your significant other stops responding.

Where does your mind automatically go?

If you are like most people, your mind automatically goes to the worst.

You start wondering if your partner is mad at you because you said something wrong.

Even though you have no grounds to believe you made your partner mad, overthinking takes you to that headspace.

The more time that goes by, the more you overthink the situation!

Sound familiar?

Similarly, the moment prospects exit the phone call or sales meeting creates an opportunity to break into an overthinking frenzy.

Once the prospect begins overthinking, they start to doubt their decision to move forward.

As a result, they hold off 24 hours or longer before responding and moving forward with the next step of the sales process.

That said, if it takes prospects more than 24 hours to respond after a sales call or meeting, they are likely overthinking the situation.

AKA, doom is headed in your direction!


Prospects Are Not Overthinking About Good Stuff

When prospects overthink, they are not overthinking about the good stuff.

Instead, they are thinking about all the negative things that could happen from working with you.

For example, they wonder if they even need you to reach their business goals.

Or, they wonder if they could get somebody else to help for cheaper.

Or, they wonder if you are really as good as they think you are.

As a result, they drag out their response time while you sit there and twiddle your thumbs.

That said, prospects who overthink are more likely to walk out the door.

Having 24 hours after a meeting or call to overthink can do significant damage!


The Moment Prospects Overthink Is the Moment the Deal Dies

If a prospect takes more than 24 hours after a sales call or meeting to respond to you, it is a clear sign they are overthinking the decision.

You can be sure they are not overthinking good things!

Instead, they are overthinking why they should not work with you.

That said, you need to do two things:

  1. Crunch your sales process
  2. Have a full-proof plan to re-capture customers who drift after 24 hours

First, you need to crunch your sales process.

Crunching your sales process reduces the time between individual sales meetings.

Less time between sales meetings creates fewer opportunities for prospects to overthink.

Thankfully, I already have a crunched sales process that prevents prospects from overthinking in the first place.

Second, you need a plan to re-capture customers if they start to overthink.

A good sales process will prevent overthinking, but it will not stop 100% of prospects 100% of the time.

To help re-capture prospects who start overthinking, I am breaking down how to re-capture prospects after not hearing back for 24 hours.


what to do when client is not responding


Here Is What to Do If Prospects Do Not Respond Within 24 Hours


Twenty-four hours with no response?

Take action immediately.

Here is how to deal with an unresponsive prospect.

The key to success is to get moving once you hit the 24-hour mark.

The prospect will begin drifting even further away  if you do not immediately get moving!

Remember, every passing hour without a response is an hour working against you.

It is still not too late now! Get moving before it is too late.


Make the Best Phone Call of Your Entire Life

The first sales meeting or phone call went great, but now the prospect is not responding to your messages.

Immediately make a follow-up phone call checking in on the prospect and asking if they have any questions.

Specifically, ask if anything is holding them back from moving forward.

The key is to ask questions instead of talking.  

That way, you can uproot overthinking before it takes over the prospect’s mind.

Also, be sure not to panic!

Whether going through a cold call or LinkedIn message, prospects can sense if you are panicking.

When you panic, prospects run as far away from you as possible.

Remember, there is no reason to panic! All you are doing is getting prospects to the next step of the sales process.


No Response? Leave a Simple Voicemail

The prospect did not respond to your phone call?

Again, do not panic.

Prospects will sense through your voice that you are freaking out!

Instead, leave a killer voicemail.

The key to a killer voice mail is keeping things short and sweet while boosting their sense of urgency.

At this point, many salespeople feel they are being too pushy.

They do not want to leave a voicemail (or even make a follow-up call) because they do not want the prospect to believe they are pushy or desperate.

However, this is nonsense.

I guarantee a prospect has never told you that you are pushy or desperate before!

Do not let your emotions convince you that you are being pushy.

Keep following up until a prospect tells you that you are annoying!


Send the Can’t-Fail Follow-Up Email Video

After leaving a voicemail, head to your email for another round of outreach.

You are going to leave the best follow-up email of your life.

I am not talking about a boring typed email.

Instead, record a 30 to 60-second video of yourself speaking directly to the prospect.

Sending a video of yourself puts pressure on prospects unlike any other technique.


It is difficult for prospects to ignore you when they have to do it to your face.

Even if it is just a video of your face, it will still prove very difficult to ignore.

That said, record a casual video of yourself wrapping up what you discussed in your initial cold call or sales meeting.

Then, add an intriguing subject line to stand out more.

Again, prospects struggle to resist you when they have to do it while watching a video of your face!


Follow-Up Until You Get a Response

Still no response after another 24 hours?

Keep following up with the prospect until you get a response.

Keep these two things in mind as you follow up:

  1. You are not annoying
  2. Prospects will continue to overthink until you step in

First, remind yourself again that you are not annoying.

You are not annoying the prospect until they tell you so!

Therefore, continue following up because you care about the prospect’s success.

Second, remind yourself that prospects will continue to overthink until you step in and stop it.

The longer it takes to get to the next meeting, the more they will overthink!

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by following-up until you get an answer.


Final Thoughts on How to Deal With Unresponsive Prospects


Things are not looking good if 24 hours go by without a response after an initial sales call or meeting.

However, it does not have to stay looking bad.

Get prospects back after 24 hours of silence with my process!

Otherwise, the odds that prospects completely slip out of your grasp will go through the roof.

Each passing hour without a response is an hour working against you.

Win more deals. Grow your business.

Get more prospects, more sales, and higher-paying clients fast, so you can take your business to the next level.

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