Too many sales reps find themselves with great opportunities in their pipeline but can’t seem to push them over the edge to close. You might have had several great conversations with your prospect, sent a proposal and even met with them to discuss your recommendations. If they told you they’d discuss it internally, you might even have walked away high-fiving yourself thinking “this is in the bag!”
But what if a month a goes by and you hear nothing but silence from the prospect?
You think they said, “we’re going to discuss the proposal and let you know.”
In reality, there is no commitment to notify you one way or the other.
So what then? How do you proceed when you don’t want to leave the opportunity hanging or sit around waiting for your prospect to call you?
When your prospect goes dark and isn’t returning your calls or emails, you need to put your detective hat on and figure out what happened.
If you look back at what your prospect told you while you were gathering requirements, you can usually uncover useful tidbits to get them talking again. Pay attention to these two details:
- The business issue that got them talking to you in the first place
- The timeline in which they wanted to see new results
Now you can troubleshoot their silence and remind them why your proposal was important to them. Either something changed (or else they wouldn’t have stopped talking with you), or they forgot their own priorities. If you’re selling to SMB, the decision-maker is often juggling multiple priorities. Your proposal simply may have been pushed down the ladder.
Here are three recommendations on how to proceed:
- Use the business issue and timeline as a basis to restart the conversation with your contact. They wanted to address the issue within a certain timeframe and you don’t want them to miss their own objective.
- You can send an email to set up a call, but if you can reach your prospect by phone that’s even better. Now you can have a conversation and see what’s really happening.
- Don’t give up until you get some type of closure. They needed your help when they first started talking with you. Perhaps they still do.
Whatever the cause of the setback, it’s your job to figure it out. Then you can either steer your prospect back to the table to close the deal or cut your losses and move on.