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Strategy for prospects ghosting follow-up calls?

Recently I've been having an issue where I'll connect with a prospect, they will express interest but give me a specific time to call them back to "continue the discussion." Then when I call them back at the requested time they won't pick up.


In a perfect world, I can get the prospect to agree to an intro call but most people I've connected with at least for the month of July have been requesting that I send them collateral and follow up. Obviously, I understand that schedules change, but I thought I'd ask if anyone has any tips or tricks for avoiding this particular scenario, or at least help increase the chances of that second convo happening?

πŸ“ž Cold Calling
🧠 Advice
26
Kinonez
Celebrated Contributor
+9
WR Enthusiast
If this happens to often, I would talk about the elephant in the room, letting them know that many prospects do that. something in the lines of:
You know, lately I've been asked a lot to follow up, only to never get that person back on the phone, I know you are very busy and your time is very valuable *my job is actually to save you time,* is there a particular reason why you would like a follow up call instead of discussing it now?Β 

*Only say that if your solution does save time.Β 
softserve
Politicker
+7
Team Lead - Enterprise Sales
Honestly, one tactic that has worked really well for me has been the passive aggressive email.

I send something along the lines of telling them that senior management has been breathing down my neck in regards to this meeting and the lack of attendance/response from the prospect.

From there I typically give them an out... if this isn't worth continuing the discussion, that's perfectly acceptable and to let me know so I can allocate my resources more effectively.

However, if it IS worth discussing, let's try to find time on the calendar to sync up.

Oddly enough, I see about a 70-80% response rate... however about half of that is people taking the out and cancelling the next call to action. I'm perfectly OK with that, wasn't gonna help generate pipeline anyways.Β 
SaaStityBelt
Valued Contributor
+4
SDR
I'll be sure to give this a shot.Β  Appreciate the feedback!
BANTer
Contributor
+2
Head of Tech Sales
Hit them with a 2 word email β€œAny thoughts?” Works for me!
braintank
Politicker
+6
Enterprise Account Executive
No offense but they may just be saying that to get off the phone with you.

Are you sending calendar invites?
SaaStityBelt
Valued Contributor
+4
SDR
I'm very aware that could be the case.Β  Lately, how I've been trying to handle the "send me your whitepapers" response is by asking if I can follow up after a few days to get their feedback.Β  Sometimes it works sometimes they just say they'll reach back out if they are interested.Β  But no I haven't been sending calendar invites, have you found that yields positive results?
DrunkenArt
Politicker
+6
Sales Associate
I would always follow up with a calendar invite. It'll at least pop up on their screen that they have a meeting with you. If they ghost/don't show up, just be persistent with alternative dates
Oz
Ozz
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Send a bitmoji.Β 
Re
RedLightning
Politicker
+7
Mid-Market AE
I'm pretty blunt and will say something like "hey, usually that means people are busy or they're trying to be polite and get me off the phone. Which is this"
NotInterested
Valued Contributor
+4
Business Development Manager
If you are local selling to local companies, show up with donuts or some kind of treat. I've had to do this MULTIPLE times. It works.Β 

Or if you can't visit try these:
- LinkedIn Message
- Write them a letter
- Call off your personal cell (could be ignoring your calls)Β 
- Email them a meme *"Hello it's me -Adele"* (I've had success with that one"
- Email them a personal video of yourself
- Throw time on their calendar for a time to talk with youΒ 
- Send them a small gift from Amazon with gift note insideΒ 
- Hunt down their children and hold them hostage until they sign the deal, idk?Β 
SaaStityBelt
Valued Contributor
+4
SDR
I have actually tried that last one! Guy still hasn't gotten back to me.Β  I've had them for 4 months now and I'm starting to think the prospect was hoping I'd do that all along...
NotInterested
Valued Contributor
+4
Business Development Manager
Glad I'm not the only one.. That's always my last resort, but you know it's pretty effective. At one point I had 16 small children in my basement, but I've dwindled to 7 now!Β 
UserNotFound
Politicker
+9
Mid Market Manager
In this situation I usually send a casual text. "Hey Kevin, it's MrsTechSales. Not really sure what your preferred method of communication is and since I prefer text I thought I'd shoot ya one real quick. I know we were supposed to connect yesterday at 2 and I missed you. Do you want to reschedule that, or should I just try ya back sometime next week?"Β 

I think of it as subtly signaling 'cant stop wont stop'. Also most people have their cell in their signature these days so it shouldn't come as a surprise that you have the ability to text.Β 
UserNotFound
Politicker
+9
Mid Market Manager
also, just noticed the hella solid handle... Great name!
SaaStityBelt
Valued Contributor
+4
SDR
Thank you! a lot more thought went into it than I care to admit.Β  Β I have never tried the text option before I will definitely keep it in mind going forward!
Show 1 more replies
ne
newsalesguy14
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
There are a few tactics I use in these situations:

1. When they ask you to call them at a later time, ask them if they have their calendar in front of them. If they say no they're lying, and if they aren't willing to put time on it then this isn't legit. That doesn't mean to stop prospecting them (in fact, I would prospect them more aggressively now that they aren't as cold), but know that.Β 

2. If this does happen and you can't get them back on, go for the no via email. Keep badgering them (with value of course), but eventually if they're ignoring you, you have to say something like "prospect, I'm only reaching out because I know we can help you do X. I just want to connect for 15 mins to show you. Is this an area you'd be willing to invest this time, or should I hold off for a bit?" Make it as easy as possible for him to say no. If he does, that's way better than being ghosted. And sometimes this does work in making them see the value/see it as exploratory and gets a meeting!

3. If they ask for collateral, they're just trying to get you off the phone, and this is what they say to every salesperson. So you need to interrupt the pattern. When they ask you to send info over, first ask what exactly they have in mind. This will test them if they've been listening to your value prop or what you do. They very well could give a generic "whatever you have" response. Then you can either ask them "do you have a few mins next week to discuss what I'm sending?" or you can ask "if what I send looks like it could help you out, what would our next steps be?" The goal isn't to secure the meeting, but rather evaluate if they really are in a time crunch but want more info, or if they have no intentions of talking with you. And if it's the latter, it's nice to take it a step higher and not let them get away so easily :)
SaaStityBelt
Valued Contributor
+4
SDR
First of all, wow thank you for this.Β  I really like number 2 and I have tried to implement 3 before.Β  Will definitely be using these going forward.Β  Thank you!
ne
newsalesguy14
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Glad I could help!
alecabral
Arsonist
+8
Director - Digital Sales Transformation
Send Nudes.

But seriously speaking, other than what @kinonez suggested, which I think makes a lot of sense, I'd change my approach. There has to be a reason why people are pushing back, and if it's a lot of people that are not connected among themselves and planning to just reject you, then it's the context for sure.

Anything in their particular context that might make them reject you? I.e.: summer vacations still going on? offices not opening just yet?

Anything you can think of will help you change your approach, and I think that might be needed.

Or again, send nudes :-)

Good luck!
VineMic
Good Citizen
+1
Account Executive
@SaaStityBeltΒ There's a few ways of doing this:

1) Voss Method of fishing for a "no":Β 
Hi ___,

Been a while since I've heard from you. Have you deferred this project (OR is this no longer a priority if you dont want to ask if the project has been deferred).Β 

2) Humorous breaking my heart email

Hi ____,

You're breaking my heart right now. Been a few weeks since I've heard from you but I don't want to be that weird guy from the movie the Cable guy. Please select the answer that you would like:

A) No way would I ever do business with a Bills fan!

B) This isn't a priority anymore

C) I'd like to set-up time for a follow-up with you next week, and best of luck to the boys from Western New York to bring home their first bowl!

3) This deal has stalled/ you may have been dealing with a tire kicker the whole time. Many fish in the-- oh wait that doesn't make sense. There's many accounts to prospect on LinkedIn. Keep hunting, keep your head up, and they aint a customer yet but keep them in your cadence and reignite the conversation when you believe there's reason for more urgency.

Hope this helps @SaaStityBeltΒ 
Prunetracey
Fire Starter
+2
VP Growth
We have a slack channel literally called "ghosted" where we call each other's prospect on a mobile number they obviously wouldn't recognise to get them back on the phone. However, we have pretty strict rules on when we can use it and without writing war and peace in this comment, it fundamentally comes down to "are we deadset providing tangible value to this person/business".

I'd recommend having some honest reflection on if you're deadset providing value to this person/business. Grab a mate who doesn't work with you and ask them "if you were this person/business, would this interest you?". Just make sure it's a mate who knows his dick from his elbow and will actually be honest with you.

girheakinna
Opinionated
+3
da best SDR
Send a hand written letter to their office
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
It’s about excitement. If that goes down too much they do not show up. Try to keep it as high as possible until the meeting.Β 

you can send mails and info if the time between booking and disco is too long.Β 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Officer
+9
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Did you delete that post because you didn't like me calling your "friend" a sexual predator?
8
powerful email call to actions. Make your prospects respond!
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Ae
+30
BadColdCaller , Β  Prunetracey , Β  AessK Β  and 30 people voted
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