Why are you getting ghosted in sales and how to avoid it
*”Why are you getting ghosted in sales and how to avoid it” is part of the “How to set up your Startup B2B Sales Process in 3 weeks” series.
What does “ghosted” mean?
Essentially, it’s when a prospect completely disappears (stops responding to email, phone calls, SMS, etc) after a conversation that seemed fruitful and relevant. Instead of telling us that they are unable to commit due to any reason, prospective buyers sometimes ghost us because it’s easier. It prevents them from having to have a tough conversation with someone. That’s actually perfectly normal for human beings – to avoid disappointing a person or having an argument.
Getting ghosted in sales is something that salespeople hate because it’s rather uninformative… We thought that we had a great conversation and really qualified that we could be of service then suddenly the prospect disappears we don’t know why. We start thinking what could we have done wrong… were we too pushy or did we ask too many questions or is it something else. Essentially it hurts us on both a personal and professional level. And we don’t know whether the prospect is undefined, qualified, or disqualified.
Why do prospects ghost us?
Well it can be for any number of reasons but in our experience, we’ve narrowed it down to the following
We didn’t qualify well enough
Usually, it’s a question of timing and at the point of time when we had our conversation with the prospect he/she was not in a good time to commit to the next step but we were so busy rushing through the qualification process that we forgot to really understand our prospects timeframe.
We didn’t sell the bright future
As already mentioned, it’s great to go through the qualification process thoroughly. However, if you forget to really help your prospects understand how you could help make their lives better or simply not pay too much attention to that part well… you end up having a prospect who’s uncertain about the value you could bring and doesn’t really feel like there’s a match.
Someone else came and swept them off their feet
Yes, that’s possible. Have you ever had a crush on someone and right when you thought you did well in a conversation someone else comes? He/She talks better than you, has smarter arguments, and just seemed more interesting? In sales life, we have competitors just as much and we need to really be able to differentiate and stay top of mind of our prospects.
We didn’t understand their priorities and they are simply too busy to get back to us
70% of purchasing decisions are made to solve a problem. If we don’t do our best to understand what keeps them up at night and think about how we could help solve their issues then we will always be a nice to have rather than a must-have. In business when you are a nice-to-have deals stall. Prospects ghost you because they have more pressing matters to attend to. They just don’t have time for you. Aside from all that they could be sick or on vacation make sure you check for that first!
At the end of the day whatever happens we strongly recommend that you focus on moving forward. Don’t dwell on what could have been but go out and find other opportunities to chase for your business.
What can you do to avoid getting ghosted in sales?
- Stay relevant – When reaching out to potential clients you need to tailor your approach to make sure you’re talking about them, their problems, and how they could solve them. Share relevant information in the form of blog posts, videos, or case studies.
- Try being more personalized – Follow your prospects on LinkedIn. Observe what they like and follow. When someone comments on a blog post see how you can hook that topic in an outreach to your prospect.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes – Before you send out an email or a LinkedIn message read it yourself, think about how you might make your prospect feel when he/she reads it, and try to be as human as possible.
- Appreciate them – When someone has ghosted you instead of making them feel bad about it, think about how you could demonstrate that you appreciate them and care about them. Say something like “thank you for taking the time to meet with me and share your business struggles. I really think we can be of help. As I haven’t heard back from you for a couple of weeks I hope you’re busy with work and all is well at home!”
Do you have your own interesting story of being ghosted? Share it with us.
Learn how to spot window shoppers in the previous article from our Sales Acceleration Platform. Next, you can get insights on handling sales objections in a way that drives opportunities.
Boris Georgiev is one of the co-founders of Out2Bound. As such he has worked with over 50 B2B founders helping them realize their go-to-market strategies. In 2018 he was acknowledged by Forbes Bulgaria in the 30 under 30 list. On a daily basis, Boris tracks trends and best practices in B2B Tech sales.