Number 1: Don't make them feel guilty
Ok, so the prospect hasn’t responded to your emails or calls. But there is no reason to bring that up in your follow-ups. Why? Because saying something like, “I sent you an email on Thursday, but you never responded” or “I called and left a voicemail, but you never returned my call” only makes a prospect feel guilty. And what do people do when they feel guilty? They avoid the negative emotion altogether.
Instead of rehashing a subject that's only going to strain your relationship, tailor a custom message to your prospect each time that stays on message and brings positivity to your correspondence.
Number 2: Try a different CTA
The purpose of any interaction with a prospect is defined by your call-to-action (CTA). When the prospect isn’t responding, do not keep pounding away with the same CTA in hopes that the response will be different. Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. In this case, don’t be the sales professional that uses the same closing every time, especially when the prospect isn’t responding.
Make your closings and CTAs custom, specific, and varied. You never know which one will get the prospect to open up.
Number 3: Find a different point of contact
If you've been trying to get into contact with a prospect for a while and you can’t seem to get through, you might want to consider moving on to another point of contact within the target company. While we don’t advocate sending a break-up message (see the next point), at some point, the prospect must take responsibility for their side of the relationship. To do this, send one last email with a strong CTA. If you haven’t received a response, send the email to another person in the same company.
If the original prospect finds out you’ve contacted another person in their company, you can use this opportunity to restart the conversation. Be honest and see if they're still interested. Taking this approach works twofold. It lets the prospect know that you're still open to talking with them when they are ready. And it makes you seem less pushy and more human.
Number 4: Don’t break up, just take a break
Many people advocate for sending a break up message due to high interaction rates associated with this action. While higher interaction rates would typically be a good thing, in this case, the interaction is centered around the ending of your relationship – not a subject you want to be talking about with your prospects.
Instead of sending a break up message, take some time off. Give your prospect a few months to cool off. Send them something like “It looks like we may not be a good fit for each other right now. I’ll reach out again in a couple of months to see if things are a better fit.” This way, you leave the door open for a possible future connection. Never break up with a prospect if you don’t have to.
Number 5: Personalize your message
In the days of marketing automation and technology, it may be tempting to generate mass prospecting messages. And while this may work for some prospects, those prospects who aren’t communicating with you will not be swayed by a generic message. Today’s buyers are smarter and more informed. They can tell when they are receiving a personalized message or not.
Try this. Instead of sending them a custom sales pitch or prospecting email, send them something completely unrelated to your business proposal. If they are a sports fan, say something like “I saw [sports team] on the television the other day and thought of you. Enjoying the season so far?” This can get the conversation going. Once you've established contact, you can bring up your pitch or CTA later on down the road.
Number 6: Reach out at different times of the day
While this may seem obvious to some, you'd be surprised at how many sales professionals do not change up the time of day or day of the week they reach out to prospects. Many sales reps have routines along the lines of call or email the client, set a reminder to call or email the client, rinse and repeat.
But the times of day or days of the week in which you are trying to reach a prospect may not be right for them. To give them a better chance to respond to your messages, connect with your marketing department and take a look at the engagement metrics. Then identify a pattern for the best time and day to reach out to your prospect. This will make your message more relevant and ensure that they see it.
Number 7: Be valuable
This two-word statement cannot be underscored enough. If you're not providing value in your communications with prospects, then what’s going to make them think you can provide value to them at all? In every call or email you send, make sure to give value to those you are communicating with.
A great way to do this is by sending them a piece of relevant content, like a webinar for example, that speaks to their challenges and problems. Not only will it show that you know what you're talking about, but it will also make prospects look forward to your communications because they’ll feel like you're trying to help them. If you’re having trouble deciding on what content to send, reach out to your marketing team for help.
Feeling confident about reaching out to your prospects? Check out our blog 3 tips to transform your sales calls to elevate your conversations to the next level.