Remember that one prospect? The one who seemed so promising at first?
You hit it off immediately. They were looking for someone like you. Your timing was right. You had a great first meeting, then perhaps another, and then….
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
** crickets chirping **
Now, if this was a real-life, love relationship, what would you do? The usual responses (“ghosting” them back, a nasty breakup text, etc.) typically spring from hurt feelings and/or a desire for some kind of revenge or control. Of course, you could also refuse to accept their silence and just continue to call them/text them/drive by their house – also known as “stalking.”
In business, typical seller responses to getting blown off by a prospect are strikingly similar. We take them off our list and stop trying to contact them. Or we inform the prospect that we will no longer be following up – a polite, salesy version of the breakup text. Or, of course, we fail to take silence for an answer and continue to call/email/text/show up – also known as “stalking.”
You know what’s missing in both of these cases? Authenticity, also known as being REAL about your feelings, and about the relationship.
In both love and selling, the breakthrough strategy – one that either gets things moving again or ends them on a higher note – involves sharing what you really feel, and your intentions for the relationship – not the dry, sales-speak we see so often in these situations.
So next time this happens to you (and if you’re in sales, it most certainly will!), consider:
- Sharing your feelings – your REAL feelings – about what’s happening. If you’re confused, be confused. If you’re sad, be sad. If you’re sorry about it not working out, be sorry.
- Sharing your intentions – tell them what you want for them, and for you, and for the both of you. Don’t hide behind corporate-speak about “adding value” – talk about the relationship between you, two human beings.
- Leaving the door open – you may be misinterpreting the silence. Be empathetic to your prospect’s situation and don’t assume you know what’s going on.
Of course, none of these things mean you’ll reignite a relationship that wasn’t meant to be. But at the very least, you’ll stand out as one of the very few authentic – REAL – people. And people want to be with real people.
Best of luck in love and selling,