So you have the perfect customer and they match your ICP (ideal customer profile). You can taste the commission and now more than ever, you need the commission. Can you relate? I’m sure you can! Every salesperson, including myself, has been there; it’s at this point that the prospect goes dark on you. They’re not responding to your calls, your messages, to anything and you begin to wonder what’s next.
Video: How do I Get a Customer to Respond When They’ve Gone Silent
Below are 10 things that you can do to help move that customer who’s stalled out, that customer that has gone silent on you. We could all use these 10 things, especially right now during the ongoing pandemic situation.
1. Bring them new insights.
Don’t regurgitate the same old stuff. Bring the customer new insights, new information. Make sure it’s not about you, but about them. Go to the news, go and find out what’s happening in their industry. When you bring them new insights, position yourself in a way that you can help them navigate through the challenges, especially right now. This is a key one.
2. Who are their customers?
You see, many times what happens is the customer gone silent, they’ve gone dark because they’re confused about who their customers are. So ask yourself, who are their customers? Look downstream. Ask yourself how you can help them connect with their customers. So what does this mean? It may mean coming back and sharing some information or some insights about one of their customers and how they can help sell more efficiently and more effectively to them.
3. Identify new opportunities
Often, the customer goes silent because they don’t know what to do themselves. So, your job is to bring them a new opportunity. Make sure the new opportunities are dialed in on them though. Don’t just throw out fluff! I see too many people say, “Hey, why don’t you just do this?” Oh, come on! That’s Mickey Mouse. Be very precise. Be very concise. The new opportunity might be just a slight wiggle or a slight shake to what they currently do. It may not seem like a lot, but your ability to bring them that idea makes them see you as somebody who wants to have a conversation with them.
4. Fiscally responsible
What does this have to do with you? Potentially a lot actually. Sometimes the customer goes dark because they’re having financial issues. They may owe your company money, or they may owe another division money. So sometimes it comes down to you just calling it out. You have to be prepared. Now this is a little bit of a gamble here, but I’m not hesitant to sit there and say, “Hey, are there issues that you feel you might have from a financial standpoint, if we were to choose to do business?” There you go. You put it all out on the table.
5. Engage in other platforms
Maybe they’ve gone silent because all you’re doing is emailing them or all you’re doing is calling them. You have to make sure to engage them at other platforms, like social media, text or that might be a video in an email. It might even be direct mail. Use multiple mediums.
6. Use other people
There may be other people in their organization that you need to reach out to, other people that you can begin to create a relationship with that can move this decision-maker up. Or you might not even be dealing with the right decision-maker. They could come across as a decision-maker, but they’re actually not, and you’re not going to know that until you begin to engage other people.
7. Challenge the information they’ve shared
What do I mean by this? You see, the customer has probably shared information with you and that’s what you’re using to base your opinion of them. However, you need to go back and say, “Hey, wait a minute. Does that information even have validity?” They may have shared this: “Well, we’re going to make a decision after we do this,” and then after this ends up being totally bogus. Again, it comes back to the big reason why I want to use other people, because it’s going to help challenge all of your assumptions.
8. Bring in a subject matter expert.
You may need to call them up or email them and say, “Hey, I’ve got another person here in our company who does X, and another person who does Y.” Maybe it’s an industry person. Maybe it’s somebody else, but suddenly now they begin to go, “Oh.” See, the reason they were silent or the reason they went dark is because they didn’t find you bringing them enough value. Bring in a subject matter expert.
9. Focus on their priorities and issues.
This might sound basic to you, but too many times, you don’t focus on the customer’s priorities and issues. I have salespeople continually reaching out to me. They reach out and they reach out, and you know what? I don’t respond. In my world or their world, they’re going to say, “Hey, he’s gone silent. He’s gone dark.” Well, I would say he’s gone silent, he’s gone dark because no information brought to me has been relevant to my priorities or my issues.
10. Question the questions you’re asking.
Yes, you read that right. I’m telling you to question your whole process, because undoubtedly, there’s something you have said or have not said that is choosing for them to go silent. Come back to the beginning of what you’re doing. This is one of the reasons why I love prospecting within certain verticals within industries. Because I’m going to take it and I’m going to say, “Hm, maybe what I need to do is take this company over here and how I’ve been successfully selling to them, what are the insights there that I can bring over here?” You see success creates success, so don’t hesitate at all to question the questions you’re asking.
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Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.