In the marketing world, it’s not unusual that your prospects either respond sporadically and without much conviction, or even worse – they completely disappear on you.
They ghost you, never to be seen again. And you’re back at zero.
Been there, done that. As someone who helps companies learn how to sell cybersecurity to their small business clients, I’ve seen both sides of this dilemma: those who consistently get ghosted by their prospects and those who never do.
What’s the secret, you ask? Well, there are two, and I’ll share them both with you today in this article.
First of all, though, it’s essential we get one thing straight: Leads are hard to get. Like, really hard. Based on a report from Hubspot, 61% of marketers actually consider lead generation to be their biggest challenge. What’s more, it usually takes people an average of eighteen phone calls to connect with their clients.
That’s a lot of calls, let’s be honest.
And you’re not alone in this. As challenging as lead gen is, it’s actually extremely beneficial for your business if you do it right, which is also why companies keep spending large chunks of their budget on lead generation.
When you do finally connect with a prospect, it’s like finding a pot of gold. The next step is vital – you’ve got to make use of every single lead you get! This is why it’s worth it to nurture your leads and foster a genuine professional relationship with your prospects. Nurtured leads result in a 47% higher order value than non-nurtured leads.
In order to keep those sales coming, you also need to make sure you’re creating something authentic and valuable here. I like to say you need to squeeze as much juice out of that orange as you can.
It’s important to remember that when you do get ghosted by a prospect, it might not actually have anything to do with your service. Prospects are only human, after all, and humans tend to be forgetful if you don’t draw their attention often enough.
But keeping in touch regularly and knowing how to follow up with unresponsive prospects aren’t the only strategies that’ll save you from getting ghosted.
The two fundamentals up my sleeve are so vital to a great professional marketing strategy that when I was on the phone with a large software manufacturer a month ago, he told me he appreciated these exact two things that I implement consistently. In fact, he made sure to remind his own team about them!
So what are they? Let’s have a look!
Tip Number 1: Create An Upfront Contract
When you’re on a sales call, it’s essential to come across as a professional salesperson. This includes explaining your process clearly – your prospect will automatically sense that you know what you’re doing, which fosters trust and respect.
There are three things you need to explain:
- How much time you have
- What you’re going to accomplish in that time frame
- What the next step is
Let’s unpack that.
1. Establish the Timeline for Specific Tasks
As soon as you get in touch, draw your prospect’s attention to their calendar. Calendars, as you’ll see in a minute, are a great way to keep your prospect in the loop and focused on your collaboration.
First, establish how much time you have for specific tasks. You can say for example:
- “We have 30 minutes for the discovery call, how does that suit you?”
- “We should get the risk assessment done in an hour and a half. Does that fit in your calendar?”
Simple and upfront division of tasks will make you come across as an organized salesperson who knows how to manage their time effectively.
2. Set Your Objectives for Every Meeting
The next step is to elaborate on what it is exactly you’ll be doing in the established time frame. This gives your prospect a good overview of all the things you’ll discuss together, which brings about a sense of accomplishment even before you begin.
- “During this discovery process, I’m going to find out a little bit more about your network. We’ll discuss what you like and don’t like about your current provider.”
- “This time, we’ll focus solely on your budget so we know what we’re dealing with and how we can accomplish your goals effectively.”
Explaining the objectives of your meeting will set things in motion, which is exactly what we’re aiming for here – the prospect has to feel like things are always moving forward.
3. Agree on the Next Step
Here’s a piece of advice: never get off a sales call or walk out of a meeting without having agreed on your next step! Prospects are more likely to forget about you (or ghost you!) if there’s no plan for the near future.
After you propose the next step, always try to get a definite answer from your prospect. This is as easy as asking:
- “Does that sound good?”
- “Are we on the same page?”
- “Do you have any questions?”
When you implement these three things in your strategy, you’ll create an upfront contract – a contract where the prospect knows what is going to happen every step of the way.
Tip Number 2: The Calendar Saves The Day
The things that are easy to do are also the things that are easy not to do. If you don’t manage to keep your prospect focused on the relationship you’re building here, they might disappear on you faster than you can say, “Please use the calendar to your advantage.”
Here’s the thing: Prospects lie. We all do. They might say they’ll reach out to you at some point in the future only to ghost you completely.
This is why you should never end a sales call without clarifying the time and date of your next meeting, and then:
- Sending your prospect an electronic calendar invite for that meeting
- Writing it down in ink (for both parties involved)
This ensures your prospect won’t forget about the meeting and will still be interested in further collaboration.
How To Get Leads To Respond: To Sum It All Up
The two tips above are simple yet fundamental. Organization, time management, and effective planning are crucial if you want to keep your prospects interested and avoid being ghosted all the time.
Remember: Communicate openly, clearly, and professionally. Explain your next steps, summarize what you have already accomplished, use the calendar to your advantage. Make your relationship feel dynamic and on the move so that it doesn’t seem stagnant.
The orange is sitting right there! Don’t let it dry up.