This happens to every single salesperson on the planet engaged in a sales cycle of longer than one call.
"My prospect won't return my calls".
"I can't get my prospect to the phone".
"My prospect is ignoring me".
Those of us who train, coach or mentor salespeople probably hear one of those three even more often than "I'm having trouble scheduling appointments." What should you do when it happens to you or your salespeople?
UP TO 8 ATTEMPTS. 8 CONSECUTIVE DAYS. LEAVE MESSAGES.
You may be surprised to learn that while it doesn't happen very often, Sales Development Experts occassionally experience scenarios like these too. As a matter of fact, in August I identified 9 stalled opportunities where calls were not being returned. I decided to track the activities from that point forward so that I could report the results here and show you, based on data, the actual steps and outcomes.
|A||6||Received Email||scheduled mtg to close|
|B||8||Received Email||went with someone else|
|C||6||Received Call||will close late 2011|
|D||4||Received Call||scheduled mtg to close|
|E||5||Received Email||will close this week|
|F||4||Received Email||will close late 2011|
|G||4||Received Email||scheduled mtg to close|
|H||5||Received Call||will close this week|
|I||4||Received Call||will close early October|
- 9 Stalled Opportunities
- 5 Attempts on average Required for Response
- 100% Finally Responded
- 1 Opportunity Lost
- 2 Closes Delayed
- 2 to Close This Week
- 3 Additional Closes scheduled for this month
- 1 to Close next month
How a salesperson responds to a stalled prospect who has gone into hiding depends on the type of salesperson they are:
- If they become angry, impatient, or surly, they may blow-up their prospect - punish them - for their unacceptable behavior. Salesperson loses.
- If they become pests - continually calling to ask if a decision has been made - wasting prospects' time - they make their prospects angry. Salesperson loses.
- If they sit back and wait - believing the prospect will call when they're ready - the prospect will forget about them. Salesperson loses.
- If they assume that they lost the business then they have. Salesperson loses.
- If they consistently leave nice messages, without pressure, the prospect will return the call in fewer than 8 attempts. The results here show that salespeople could close up to 90% of that stalled business.