“Was it something I said?” you wonder. Why did your hot new prospect suddenly turn as cold as ice? It’s a predicament every one has experienced (if you haven’t yet, you will– and more than once). Before you make yourself crazy wondering why it happened, consider these four key factors:
#1 – Shifting Priorities
All of us have had problems we thought needed to be fixed immediately. Your prospect may have felt a sense of urgency when you connected the first time. But, as we can all relate to, something else came up, other priorities took over, or a different, temporary solution to the need presented itself.
#2 – Timing
Yes, timing is everything. We all love those occasions when a client is ripe and ready for your product or service, but that’s not always the case. People and businesses make decisions based on their timeline and for their reasons, not yours. This doesn’t mean your prospect will never make a purchase. The immediate need may have passed for a time, but keep them in circulation. Ask if you can keep in touch, and add them to your mail list.
#3 – Dependencies
Your perspective as an outsider is much different than if you could see the view from your prospect’s vantage point. No big decision is made is isolation. Each one is part of a complex system of related initiatives and projects happening at the same time. And more often than not, the person/people you met with didn’t consider all the interrelated dependences until after your meeting took place.
#4 – Shopping Around
Plenty of businesses conduct research and gather information through experts just like you. They shop around. If you sense this, be sure to ask questions that will help you determine if your hot prospect is truly interested in working with you, or just going through the motions.
So what now? One thing is for sure: the worst thing you can do is ruminate over it, asking questions in your mind that may never be answered. Try any of these proactive moves:
- Don’t wait! Get out there and get busy finding more business!
- Don’t passively send emails. Get creative with your follow up contact.
- Don’t question yourself. Believe in your process and don’t lose confidence.
Finally, know that according to the National Sales Executive Association, 80 percent of new sales are made on or after five contacts! Much more research shows that about 85 percent of sales reps quit after making just three or fewer unreturned contacts. So be persistent! Don’t interpret lack of response as a closed door.
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