Why Prospects Go Silent – And How to Fix It

A common complaint I hear is that a prospect stops responding.  While there are multiple causes for this, by far the greatest is that the prospect has come to the conclusion that the salesperson has nothing of value left to give them.

The Primary Cause of Prospects Going Silent

It’s common for the prospective client to be responsive right up until the time they receive the proposal. Then, after they have the proposal, communication mysteriously stops. Most salespeople typically conclude that there is something wrong with the proposal or that the price is too high. Occasionally that can be the case, but in my experience it is not the primary cause.

The primary cause of a prospect going silent is that the sales agent has not been adding enough value throughout the sales process. Often, the salesperson has only been providing information about their products and services, and when we fail to provide any form of additional value, buyers assume this is all we’re good for. As a consequence, once they receive all the information about our solution that they need, they have no reason to continue engaging with us.

In this scenario, typically the final piece of information a prospect receives before going silent is our proposal – the price. Thus having received what they perceive to be the last useful piece of information from the salesperson, they cease communicating because they have no further use for us.

Are they wrong? Who can blame them? If we are not adding value beyond dispensing facts and pricing about our solution, then our prospects truly *may* have all the information they need and are doing exactly what they should be doing — maximizing their time.

How to Solve The Problem

The remedy to this problem is providing additional value to our prospects on each and every visit. And, as we will see in an upcoming post it must be more than just data and information.

When prospects learn that each and every encounter with you is valuable they will dialogue with you throughout their entire evaluation process and call upon you for the valuable insights you possess. In fact, this will continue long past the sales cycle. Clients will continue to engage you (in some cases even if you’ve moved on or left the industry) because of the value they know you bring and the respect they have for you. Additionally, if there does happen to be a challenge with your proposal or the price, they will reach out to you and provide the feedback you need to correct it.

The key is to make sure both clients and prospects see you as a valuable resource. By training them to see you as a trusted advisor and not just a person selling a product, prospects will buy and clients will return to you again and again.

The Big Question

Are you adding unexpected value to every sales meeting?  How do you go about doing that exactly?

We will answer those questions very specifically in our upcoming posts about the seven ways you can make each sales encounter inherently valuable.

For now, remember this important fact:  If you want prospects to continue to engage with you, each and every sales encounter must be inherently valuable.

Sales Tip:  Add value beyond just solution information on each and every encounter.

Until next time!

James

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