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What to do when your prospect stands you up

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Recently, I wrote about some ways to avoid having to make those “just following up” phone calls. I heard from several readers who wanted to know what to do if a prospect misses a scheduled call—a dilemma you’ve no doubt faced.

Here’s what I do in such a circumstance: I hang up and wait two minutes. Then I call again. More often than not, my prospect answers the call and opens with an apology: “I’m sorry, I was on another call,” “My meeting ran late,” “I had someone in my office,” “I had a problem to deal with,” etc.

However, in the event I get my prospect’s voicemail again, I leave a message. “Mr. Smith, Kelley Robertson calling at 10:15 as promised (those last two words are critical). I suspect that you’re dealing with an unexpected problem or that you’re tied up in a meeting, so I will call you at 2:15 this afternoon.”

When I call back, it’s rare that I am unable to connect with my prospect. But, if I again reach voicemail, I leave another message, similar to the first one, with another day and time. However, I also add, “If this time doesn’t work for you, have your assistant (mention his or her name) give me a more convenient time.”

In the eight or nine years I’ve been using this approach, I have dramatically increased my prospect reconnection rate. In the rare cases that I don’t reconnect, I usually find that my prospect isn’t interested in moving forward.

If you schedule your calls to prospects so that they know when to expect them, you greatly increase your chances of making the connection you need to make a sale.

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