"Um ... I mean, snow in September is really unusual, right? Have you ever seen snow in September before?"
"Err ... it's funny, I had to clear my driveway and I couldn't even find my shovel! Do you, um, know where yours is?"
"Well ... good talking to you ... I think."
I'm guessing you've never had someone go silent on you in person. Clamming up completely while someone is desperately trying to make conversation goes against sacred social and societal norms. Turning a cold shoulder to someone you're standing face-to-face with isn't just uncouth -- it's downright strange.
But behind the safety of a keyboard? The rules are totally different. On social or through email, non-response is a perfectly acceptable response.
Unfortunately, it's not unusual for a salesperson to have a fantastic initial interaction with a prospect ... only for the buyer to drop from the face of the earth immediately afterwards. No matter what messaging the rep tries or which contact channel they use, the result is the same: Radio silence.
Ever been confused as to how much effort you should expend on a prospect who's gone quiet? How about the number of times you should follow up with a silent buyer before throwing in the towel? Allow the following flowchart from HouseHunt.com to help.
According to the graphic, salespeople should consider the prospect's level of qualification and what prevented them from converting in the first place to determine a follow up strategy. With these two nuggets of information, a clear action plan will emerge.
To avoid this situation in the first place, Bryan Kreuzberger of Breakthrough Email suggests always setting a next step at the end of each sales conversation. That way, you never have to wonder when you'll be speaking again.
How do you follow up with a prospect gone quiet? Share your tips in the comments.
Originally published Aug 25, 2015 7:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017