Now that summer is officially over, I can declare a winner of the “Most popular sales question” contest which I unofficially manage every year. For the second year in a row, it was (drumroll, please)…
“How do I handle the disappearing client?”
This issue came up in one-on-one coaching calls as well as group calls held in my various sales training programs. Everyone wants to know how hard to push the pursuit when going after a prospect or customer with whom you have had previous communication and positive vibes.
You talk or meet.
You agree to reconnect in the future.
Then they disappear.
Now what? If you call too much, you run the risk of irritating the situation. If you call too little, you might miss out on a potential sale. Where’s the balance?
This issue hits me twofold, both as a sales trainer and as a salesperson myself. I, too, have this exact same question when a prospect of mine evaporates. What do I do? I practice what I preach: Stay pleasantly persistent.
My advice here is to stay diligent and make the assumption that they argue to do business with you in the future but that something else has grab their attention. As such, you need to stay positive and polite and professional in your voicemail messages.
When do you quit? That’s up to you. How badly do you want the account or the order? At some point, I think you need to stop the high-speed chase and let it go, perhaps leaving one last “I’m here if you need me” voicemail message.
You might never find out what happened to the customer, but every once in a while you will be glad that you took this advice. Out of the blue, the phone will ring or email will arrive in the words, “I haven’t forgotten about you” will both renew your faith in human nature and validate the point that it’s always a good idea to stay pleasantly persistent.