I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a question similar to that. “The prospect seemed so interested when we spoke. They just wanted to think it over and asked me to follow up in a week. I did as they asked but then the prospect went dark.”
In the world of dating and social media this is known as “ghosting.” The dictionary defines “ghosting” as “The practice of ending a relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”
While this is considered a vile way to end a dating relationship, prospects have been doing this to sellers for YEARS!
“Hey, thanks for the info. This really looks great, let me think about it, give me a week to discuss it with my team, and then call me back!” How many folks in your or your sales team’s pipeline are actually “ghosting” you?
The chances are pretty high that if you have “think it overs” in your sales pipeline the only one who is thinking it over is you! How do you stop “ghosting” in its tracks? Simple, stop accepting “think it over” outcomes on sales calls.
If that sounds like an over simplification it really isn’t. Think of why people tell their dates they will call and then don’t. It’s because they don’t want the confrontation and/or they don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. The reason is exactly the same in selling.
If you want to stop being “ghosted” you have to be okay with getting a no and, just as importantly, help your prospect be okay with TELLING you no without fear of the undesired consequences above.
In the Sandler Training Up Front Contract it could sound something like this: “Listen, there is absolutely no pressure here. If for whatever reason you don’t feel this is a good fit are you comfortable just telling me no? I promise you won’t hurt my feelings, we’ll shake hands, and leave as friends, fair?”
If you let the prospect know that you are fine with “no” as an outcome they will relax, you will relax, and you’ll stop being “ghosted” as well.