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Thoughtful Thursdays – The disappearing prospect

I had the opportunity to catch up with a business acquaintance recently and the topic of conversation eventually came around to sales and challenges that are the most frustrating.

My friend identified the disappearing prospect as one of the most perplexing he encounters.

This is the one who shows interest, and after you provide a quotation they seem to fall of the planet. You follow up diligently to no avail. It is like you are talking to the wind.

I admit this drives me nuts when it happens to me as well. I acknowledge that there are tire kickers and others who just want a price to compare and I can live with that. What is annoying is that they apparently do not have the time or courtesy to tell you that there is no need to follow up any further. Do they not expect you to follow up?

Okay, back to the challenge. How can you reduce the chances of encountering the disappearing prospect?

In my experience you are less likely to encounter this when there has been a face to face meeting previous to submitting a quotation. I understand an in person meeting is not a realistic expectation in many instances. The next best is to have a real time conversation on the telephone. The further you get from personal contact the less chance you have to develop a relationship. If there is no hint of a relationship, the easier it is for your prospect to disappear.

If you are receiving online requests for prices or you are offering to quote via email, you can initiate a conversation by asking for clarifications. If they are serious, they will take your call and voilà, you can begin the relationship building process. You can also set up timing for follow up. Once agreed to, the chances of the prospect vanishing are much reduced.

I accept that there will always be tire kickers, but I no longer let it get me down. I move on to the next prospect.

Good selling,

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