Selling is tough. We receive a referral introduction, respond to a request from our website, meet a sales prospect at a trade show or answer a phone call from an interested prospect.
We qualify, ensure our solution is a match, perhaps conduct a demo, get the right people involved and then they go dark. If you’re like me, you wonder what happened. You run a bunch of ridiculous (in hindsight) scenarios in your head and try every sales tool you can think of to get a response. Silence.
I was in this twisted state recently when I read “Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation” by Mike Schultz and John E. Doerr. One section in particular, “Employ Indifference by Reversing Directions,” caught my attention.
The Indifference Strategy. We’ve all encountered the client or prospect who has gone off the radar, leaving your voicemails and emails unanswered. This is entirely frustrating, especially when the behavior isn’t reflective of your client-centric focus or your relationship. So how to reengage your target?
The “Rainmaking” authors suggest you write an email, summarize your discussions and say something to the effect that their project may not be on your radar screen anymore and that you’ve moved on. You say that if you don’t hear back, you’ll assume that’s the case. If that is not the case, you would enjoy continuing the conversation.
I bet you’ll get a response (and quickly), either that their case is closed or that they are sorry for not responding sooner and want to continue. Personally, I’d rather get a yes or no than a maybe. Definitive information lets me decide how and where to spend my business development time.