What to Do When a Prospect Stops Responding?

I recently saw this question in one of the forums I follow and was surprised at many of the solutions presented. Most respondents were focused on what sort of ‘tricks’ could be used to force re-engagement. A few solutions questioned whether the salesperson in question was delivering value in their communications, but no one looked at the root cause.

A little more detail is required here. The question included this statement: “….had a couple of very good conversations….”. But yet, no solution questioned what exactly qualified as “good conversations”. My point here is not to berate those that were trying to help, but to get people to understand that we must stop fixing symptoms and instead focus on root causes. If we limit ourselves to symptoms, we will be trying to fix different variations of the same problems, time and time again.

Based on the “good conversations” statement, that’s where I would start my questioning. What exactly is a good conversation in this person’s mind? How did the conversations take place? How was the prospect found? These are fundamental questions that will lead from the symptoms towards the root cause(s).

I would look at what took place before this individual interaction between the salesperson and the prospect even started. How well-defined is your target market? What does your qualification process look like? The bottom line is, you need to understand if you should have even been spending time on this prospect before you start searching for the reasons why the interactions failed. I cannot overstress the importance of a well-defined target market and the discipline to stick to it.

Assuming you determine this was a quality prospect after having reviewed all of your processes, then you can start looking at the details of the specific interactions for coaching opportunities. Did the salesperson go through their proper qualification process (even a well-defined target market requires individual qualification)? Were they talking to the right person? Were they bringing value to each conversation? Did they miss signals from the prospect? The more you dig, the more likely you will find quality coaching opportunities. If you are struggling with defining your target market or with qualification processes, do yourself a favor and schedule a discovery session now – it will only cost you one hour of your time. You will receive a report that will include at least one or two immediately actionable items you can address whether you choose to hire us or not.

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