How can you get a business prospect to respond without annoying them, without chasing them away, and without wasting your valuable time on a prospect that doesn’t care? This post has nothing to do with great sales follow ups, but rather how to get a business prospect to respond after they have gone radio silent.
Is there anything more frustrating than a business prospect that stops communications? Especially potential clients that were interested, prospects that you have invested time and energy into and that you were excited to sign. It feels like going through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
You feel like going full Jerry Maguire on them: “Help me, help you!” And then you’re standing in their living room talking crazy, saying “you complete me,” “I miss you,” and you end up scaring them off. It never seems to end well.
But before we get started, let’s figure out what a successful follow up looks like.
Best Way to Contact
Your business phone service is your weapon and 92% of all customer service interactions take place over the phone and 85% of potential customers are not satisfied with their experience over the phone. 1 2
Doesn’t that seem like a disconnect? Most customer interactions are over the phone and most people hate the experience. Ok, wow. And also, huh?! How can that be?
Simple. Your business phone service sucks and it’s not helping you create a better experience online for prospects. Next time you go shopping for a new VoIP (and you really should update if you haven’t in the past 2 years), consider cloud-based VoIP with integrated sales features.
How Often, On Average, Do Prospects Return Your Call?
Not often enough, amirite? We all want a high ROI for time we spend pitching prospective clients. But what should we consider realistic? For the most part, you should expect a prospect to return your call about 20% – 30% of the time. Keep that in mind. You are going to get a lot of swings and misses.
What Is the Ideal Closing Rate for New Prospects?
The average company will close roughly 20% of new prospects. If you are seeing anything from 30% and up, then you should give everyone on the sales staff and customer-facing staff a raise, and possibly a big hug, and a box of donuts every morning.
How Many Cold Calls Result in Sales?
80% of sales require five follow-up calls after the meeting – 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up, and we can’t blame you for that. It’s easy and sometimes smarter to simply move on to the next prospect.
Tips to Get That Business Prospect to Respond
Tip 1 – Build Rapport in Other Ways
Mix up that media playa’. After establishing the initial connection, get those hooks in and reach out on other media. Add them on LinkedIn, shoot an email if you called, or leave a voicemail if you emailed. Get them on multiple channels to stay front of mind and to also figure out how best to communicate.
If they respond to your email, that’s the preferred way of communicating, if you get them on the phone, stick to calls, etc.
Tip 2 – Scarcity & Timing
Including discounts or inclusions into special packages can lead to a higher response rate. One way to reboot interest and to get a response is to offer a free whitepaper, template, or something similar for download through a link. Offer them value and reignite the initial interest.
The trick with this sales tactic is to ensure you are getting through to the decision maker. Lower tier employees are not going to act on anything that requires quick decisions.
Tip 3 – Check Your Tone & Try Apologizing
Getting a business prospect to respond based on value alone is impossible. The truth is that people don’t remember what you said, they remember how you say it. Feelings last longer than facts, and that means your tone is vital.
Be sure to land on a tone that makes sense with your customer base. Finally, if you are still not getting a return call after 3 attempts. Apologize for your persistence or any offense you may have caused. Prospects are more likely to return a call if they assume that you care about how you are being portrayed.
Above all else, do your best to remove your own ego from the process. Unreturned calls are just a part of the process. Work to get better at signing the clients you want.
Sources: Medium – 31 Shocking Sales Statistics that will Change the Way you Sell : Salesforce – The Sales Hierarchy of Lead Data Needs