Silence Really Can Be Golden

Have you ever waited for a prospect to return your call?  And he doesn’t?

Man pleads for the phone to ringYou call again, you email and still no reply? Argggg! How frustrating!  Recently, a prospect asked me for a proposal. We were an exact match for his needs. Shoe in, couldn’t miss. So why didn’t he show for our confirmed follow up call and didn’t reply to my next two emails?  I found out why and I’ll share it with you.

 

In the absence of knowing the truth, we can sometimes fill in our own narrative. 

Some business owners and salespeople faced with a prospect’s silence will label the prospect rude, conclude he’s not the kind of client they’d want and cut contact. Others will leave an ultimatum message like, “If you don’t call back I’ll assume you’re not interested.” These actions can lead to big missed opportunities.

I submit that the “silence zone” is a critical part of a budding relationship. You can either endear yourself and have your prospect become your biggest fan OR you can alienate him and never again be on his radar. If you’ve invested time (and perhaps money) into the relationship, doesn’t it make sense to give your prospect the benefit of the doubt and hang in there? You have no idea what’s happening in this person’s work life or home life that makes him respond to you the way he does. Roll up your sleeves and find out!  You may be thinking, “How can I find out if he won’t respond!”  Good question, here is how I found out why my prospect missed our call.

When I realized my prospect wasn’t going to join the call I wrote him an email.  Subject line:  Missed you on our call.  Email body:  “I’m sorry we didn’t connect today for our call. Here are a few times I’m  available in the next few days so we can reschedule. Please pick the one that works best for you. Monday or Tuesday at 10, and anytime Wed 9-11am.”

Silence.

Four days later after no reply I emailed again.  Subject line:  A personal note.  Email body: “I am concerned about you as I haven’t heard back.  No problem if you need to hold off on our business discussion but I want to be sure you are okay.”

Genuine concern. 

A few days later I received LinkedIn message saying there had been a family emergency and he needed to resolve it before he could do anything. Two days after that he reached out via a friend request on Facebook. He wrote that he was very appreciative of my concern. His family matter was taking priority but when finished he would resume our conversations. He wrote that he also saw benefit for our services for a second company as well.

The morale of the story is that your prospects are people. Focus on the health and depth of your relationships with people and the money will follow.

Contact Caryn Kopp, Chief Door Opener, at www.koppconsultingusa.com

 

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