So you processed the details of what your prospect is looking for, reverted with an empathic and guiding response and then…silence. So, you assume that if the prospect wants to proceed, they’ll get in touch. If they don’t, they’ve decided they don’t want to buy anything. It’s a lost sale.
But that’s not supported by the research data or our experience. That’s just not the case.
You see many factors impact the prospect’s journey and whether or not they come back to you:
- It’s only communication if it’s acknowledged, otherwise, it’s just a message sent. It is quite possible your prospect didn’t receive your response. This can be for a variety of reasons including a capturing error when typing their address, the email arrived in their junk or spam or they just missed it in their email box. Confirming the receipt of your message is “relationship building 101”. It says not only did I reply, but you are important enough to me that I noticed you didn’t. We can’t tell you how many relationships (and sales) we have rescued at this point. When we followed up with the prospect it became evident that they were under the impression that the brand just didn’t care enough to revert.
- You dropped down the priority list and they just need help refocusing. They saw the email meant to come back to you and then forgot (Or you called, they couldn’t answer, you left a message and they didn’t come back to you). Often, here, they like what you said but have a refining question that doesn’t allow them to just revert with “yes” so they have delayed replying. Your reaching out to them is the jolt required to get the sale conversation back on track.
- They didn’t understand the information you sent. This is sometimes the miscommunication on the part of the salesperson and sometimes, the prospect just doesn’t follow the email and a conversation is required. It may be that their questions have been overlooked or the response focused on features of the product rather than benefits the prospect is looking for. Once again, your reaching out can get that sales conversation back on track. In addition, this content is gold in that it allows you to refine your outgoing marketing messages, on your website, first response communications etc. So while there may be times when the enquiry doesn’t result in a sale, these conversations can help you be more effective going forward.
- Your competitors made a better impression than you did. When other brands are building the conversations described above, you may well have lost the sale. But can you learn from the experiences to increase the chance of success going forward?
We can’t have a mindset that suggests that it’s up to the prospect to make the effort. To follow up with you if they don’t receive a response. To struggle through the documentation to work out what product they are interested in. To follow up with you for the quote you promised. To contact you to confirm they are going ahead with the purchase.
That’s your job. Well, that’s how the most successful salespeople behave. Because they enjoy the conversation, they understand the value of investing in a relationship. And they reap the benefits.