What could it mean, if your prospects don’t respond back to your mails or phone calls?

It could simply mean – They don’t want to deal with you.

Yesterday, I was with a team of sales folks, and apart from  other questions, they asked me something, which I think is a very common problem we face in the field.

And the problem is :

“I have been trying to meet a prospect. He doesn’t respond to my email ID nor to my phone calls. I am really getting frustrated. What do you think is the challenge? Should I stop chasing ?”

Isn’t it something which we face very frequently? To some extent sometimes you feel a bit humiliated too. And on the other side, the boss anyways start doubting your abilities.

Here’s what I think :

Most of the times, under enthusiasm and pressure, we forget the core objective and overload the brain of other human being aka prospects with tons of information to process. (Remember, he/she also has a job and burning priorities).

Lets take an example :
Mr Sharma of XYZ Company (Existing Customer) referred Ravi of PQR Systems & Technologies (Sales Person) to call Mr Kumar of MNP Limited (Prospect).

“Mr Kumar, this is Ravi calling from PQR Systems & Technologies. Mr Sharma of XYZ suggested me to talk to you regarding your expansion plans and requirements for ABC products.

Mr Kumar, we are considered to be the best in this domain, and not only that we are one of the best in terms of execution but the post-sales support is the best in the country.

So, I am calling to see when we can set up a time to meet and I can give you detailed presentation on our capabilities, and how we can engage to provide solution to meet your requirements.

Mr Sharma is our customer for last 6 years and you can check with him on our capabilities . 

I personally manage VBN, TUV, SSS who are other reputed customers from your industry.

Can we meet on 5th June or would 9th suit you better?

Would you prefer 1st half or 2nd, as I would just need not more than an hour to provide you the details?”

Most of the times, the response would be – “Please drop me an email with the company profile and other details. Let me go through, and I will come back at the right time.

And that right time would never come. Sounds familiar, isn’t it?

Now, lets see what was Ravi trying to achieve :
1. Sell his company
2. Sell his products & services
3. Customer’s time or appointment
4. Leverage on reference
5. 1 hour time
6. Justification
7. Company’s Reputation, Authority & Credibility, and his own competency
8. Playing old tricks to fix time
etc etc

What happens next…. NOTHING !

Often the sales person (though not intended but..) forces the prospect to make a big COMMITMENT instead of a little “appointment” decision.

My suggestion is not to paint a massive hoarding in the minds of your customers but break it into very small pieces. These small pieces are the small objectives to create a big picture. So in every stage of your sales process, have nothing but only ONE objective. If you are calling to meet your prospects, then “sell” only the appointment. Do not try to sell everything at once.

Ideal way :

Sales Person:

“Dear Mr.Kumar, it’s Ravi with PQR Technologies .

Mr Sharma from MNP suggested me to meet you regarding your expansion plan and potential requirements.

Could you suggest me some time next week, and I would just need 15 minutes of yours to brief you about the good work we are doing.

If you think we can add value to your business, we can have detailed discussion at your convenience.”

So, what did Ravi sell now….? APPOINTMENT.. only for 15 minutes (and not 1 hour).

You can always check with the customer when you meet if they would be keen to extend the discussion or you could always come back. 15 minutes are enough to show-case your company’s capabilities, and build personal rapport to great extent.

In other words he is respecting customer’s time and making the whole process easy, quick, non-committal and painless. Isn’t this all of us look for?

The same logic holds good for emails too.Never send your company profile or ppt presentations. Refuse !!

Don’t write an essay in the email. They don’t have time… and the moment they see long email, they press “DELETE”.


Happy selling & Thanks for reading!

Yours, Rajneesh