During these uncertain times, salespeople can feel they are being “ghosted” by prospects. Someone who once seemed like a potential client has vanished with what seems like no hope of reconnecting. When this happens, what can you do? You’ll find answers in this episode.
Rian Lanigan graduated college and moved to Australia for a year. When he went back to Ireland, he started his career in sales. After working for other companies, he decided to start his agency to help B2B sales leaders get themselves in front of people more regularly. Rian is working with clients all over the globe including Singapore, Ireland, England, and the United States.
Ghosting is not simply sending an email and not hearing or getting a response. Ghosting is more of already having a meeting with them, arranging for a follow-up, and then they didn’t show up. It’s when you’ve reached out to them multiple times but you didn’t hear a response. It’s not a one and done deal.
When you feel you’ve been ghosted the first question people ask themselves is why. One of the ways people make it easy for others to treat them this way is that sales reps aren’t deliberate about sharing the next steps with prospects. Prospects need to know what to expect after having that initial contact and you need to know if you have someone who sincerely wants to continue a relationship with you. Salespeople can mistakenly believe they have a new client when all they hear is positive feedback. Rian suggests, however, that if you hear positive words, you may need to worry. Positive words don’t mean the prospect has decided to move forward with you. As the sales rep, come up with the next steps that can be mutually agreed upon so you both know where you stand.
Rian’s next suggestion is to get your prospects to accept the calendar invite. You can’t expect them to turn into a call if you don’t send them an invitation first. Many salespeople tend to forget this step. People nowadays hate to go to meetings so it’s important you get on their schedule so there’s a lesser chance of cancelation. It’s more important that you ask for time than a meeting. Always ask for more time than you need so when you finish early, you’re able to give their time back to them. You’re Hero of the Day!
To get on the calendar initially, Rian asks prospects to open up their calendar while he’s with them so they can look at availability together. Once the prospect offers a date and time, you can push back and offer an alternative date and time to appear a busy person. The important thing is for them to confirm on their calendar.
The next step is a little bolder. After confirming the schedule with them, ask if there is anything that might keep them from making it to the meeting. It lets the prospect know that you’ve scheduled meetings before and you understand things can happen. This can be an unusual occurrence, especially for people who are high up the chain such as CEOs but don’t be afraid of challenging the status quo.
Receiving a no isn’t always a bad thing because it frees you up to chase the yeses. This is one of the biggest lessons Rian has learned. There are three possible outcomes from a phone call that you have with your prospects: Yes, No, or a Referral. Rian has learned to ask which one it will be by the end of the call. What makes it easier is when he takes his prospect to Starbucks, Rian says if they close a deal, he’ll pay for coffee. If they don’t, the client gets to pay. At the end of the meeting, Rian asks who’s paying for coffee. If the answer is, “The coffee is on you today,” Rian then knows that he’s just closed a deal. As a sales rep, expect to hear a no but understand, It’s typically not a “forever no” but a “no, not now.”
At the end of the day don’t take anything as personal. It’s just business. Know that there’s a difference between your identity and your role and rejection doesn’t define who you are or your value. It’s important you know the distinction. You can lose a sale and still be an outstanding person.
On the other hand, don’t be afraid of making it big. You need to be bold and do what others may think is impossible. With confidence and a great mindset, you can! Buyers are trying to gauge if the deal is worth the risk or not. You have a higher chance of closing if the rep believes you believe in yourself and in your product.
One thing you can do to reconnect with a prospect is to use a different platform. Rian will initially reapproach with a private message once he finds the prospect. Rian understands people can have a change in circumstances such as losing their jobs, moving to another company, and more. Investigate the reasons that may have nothing to do with you.
Another technique Rian will use is telling the prospect that if they don’t respond, he’ll go ahead and close the file. This has gotten the greatest response. People, in general, don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and will jump to respond to an assumption that may be incorrect.
Finally, if you’ve been ghosted by someone, there may be some negative residual feelings. If that’s the case, make sure you have someone else read any emails you’re sending out. They will be able to help you gauge the content of your message and can help you correct any emotional imbalance it may contain.
Connect with Rian Lanigan via his LinkedIn account. If you are interested in more sales stories, you can talk to Donald directly. Reach him via these channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns.
This episode is brought to you in part by Crmble, the easy-peasy CRM for Trello that helps you manage your contacts and leads without investing in complicated solutions, sync all your data, manage custom fields, and get powerful reporting on your sales. Try Crmble now for free at www.crmble.com/tse. This course is also brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.thesalesevangelist.com/closemoredeals also call us at (561) 570-5077.
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Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth. Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.