Has this ever happened to you?
You have a hot prospect. You’re speaking with them. They’re excited about working with you. You think they’re ready to get work started — and send you some money.
Silence. And no matter how many times you try to reach out again, nothing. You go from believing you have a hot prospect, to having ZERO prospect.
In the dating world, this is called “ghosting.”
Just… Disappearing. Without a trace. Without a reason why. And without any communication.
It happens in sales, too.
That’s the topic of today’s Mailbox Monday question.
Which we’ll get to in a minute.
First: Today’s Hot To Create Webinars That Sell webinar was a huge success.
There were more people who wanted to get in than there were spots available. And those who did get on were very interactive. With lots of questions, lots of back-and-forth. And I piled on the value.
If you were hoping to catch it but missed it, good news… I did decide to release the recordings. With a topic this popular, and registrations above capacity, I figured that was just the best option.
Okay, back to Mailbox Monday…
If you have a question you’d like me to answer in an upcoming issue, click here.
Here’s today’s question…
Following your advice of having a strategy to get clients, I started off using a cold email that is working well.
This message has really broken the ice to get conversation started. After a quick fire of back and forth messaging, it suddenly gets quiet, no meetings are booked, no calls schedules.
My question is, what next after you get the reply, “Please tell me more.”? What do you reply next, or better still still what will be the best position to take to get the appointments.
Thats all for now, really looking forward to your response.
I’m going to have a little fun with this one…
Since ghosting is common in the dating world, I’m going to use some dating metaphors here.
And they work especially well. Because what’s going on is about starting a close relationship — although in this case it’s transactional and commercial.
Yet it’s many of the same challenges and struggles — and solutions.
So, here’s some (client) dating advice for you…
“She wants you to ask her on a date already…”
Reading the above, I can’t help but think of all my struggles with getting dates when I was young.
I was friendly, and kind. I had lots of female friends. And I even knew some of them were attracted to me.
And yet, I didn’t get many dates.
Because I’d have lots of great conversations, with great girls.
And for those I was interested in, I was caught in my head wondering when I should ask her on a date… And she’s in her head, thinking, “When is this doofus going to ask me on a date?”
“A quick fire of back and forth messaging” probably means you’re having the conversation by email that you need to have by phone or in a meeting.
You’d be much better off asking for a “date” — a 20-minute phone call — up front, and getting rejected more.
Make the date about discovering each other, and finding if you’re a fit. Don’t try to solve that by a bunch of back-and-forth emails.
I think this is ESPECIALLY important when giving marketing advice (slipping out of the dating metaphor for a minute).
If you’re promising marketing ideas, you should not be trying to explain them in back-and-forth emails.
Maybe webinars, articles, or another piece of content featuring your expertise, that you can share. But not answering questions via email.
If they say they want to hear more, tell them, “I’d love to share more. Let’s schedule a call to talk.”
If they say they want me to explain by email, I say, “You know, this really works best to talk about on a call. It’s okay if you’re not that interested.”
Takeaway selling works in dating, and it works here.
Of course, in order for you to have the guts to tell a potential hot date that they can hit the road if they’re not interested in you, you have to make sure you have options.
“There’s plenty of fish in the sea…”
Most people fail at both dating and selling by fixating on too few prospects. Especially when those prospects — or more likely, “The One” — are not interested in them.
You have to increase your lead flow.
You have to put yourself out there more.
You have to have more conversations, with more prospective dates.
Be flexible. Be curious about finding a fit from those that are interested in you.
The good news is, there are TONS out there!
You can find a fit — or a few — if you’re willing to do the work.
Don’t be a jerk. And don’t treat them like they’re interchangeable. But instead approach it like you’re just out there, looking to connect as much as possible, and figure out where any given relationship might go.
If you approach the whole thing from a place of scarcity — where one prospect HAS TO close, or else — you’ll put off terrible energy and be repulsive.
If you approach it from a place of abundance — where there’s lots of opportunity and you’re looking for the best options for you — you’ll actually find yourself being attractive to wealth.
Of course, there’s one possibility worth exploring…
“It’s not me, it’s you…”
There is a chance here that the problem is you.
That’s definitely the case in dating. There are a lot of people out there who get broken up with — or ghosted — because they’re really just not bringing much to the table.
If there’s someone that’s the whole package — good inside and out — how often do you think they get ghosted in dating?
Likewise, if you’re selling something that you can definitely deliver — and you’re communicating that with certainty to prospects who are ready, willing, and able to buy — it’s unlikely you’ll get ghosted like this.
In fact, at some point you’ll find that you’re more likely to ghost them than the other way around — because you have more demand than you can handle.
But this requires you to seriously look at what you’re doing, what you offer, and how you can make sure that’s completely irresistible to the prospects you’d like to connect with.
Here’s how to get the hard truth from failed “dates”…
If you’re dealing with this, maybe you need feedback.
One thing you could do would be to show the email exchange (assuming it was all email, or some other similar text-based messaging system) to a friend who is a somewhat close fit with your prospect. Ask them what you did wrong, and to be honest. And make it clear that you want the hard truth, even if it hurts.
Even better, do that with a few similar friends. Try to get their feedback about why these prospects would suddenly stop talking with you. If there’s consistent feedback between them, you may be onto something.
Likewise, you can reach back out to the prospect, with a similar message. After you’ve tried to follow up a couple times and gotten nothing, try something like this…
“I’m hoping for some honest feedback. Since you’re not responding, I’m guessing you’re not looking to work together. I’m not trying to change your mind, but I am looking to improve. Could you shoot me a quick note to just let me know why you’re no longer interested? I’m looking for the truth — even if it hurts. Thanks in advance.”
Any response there could be golden.
And it may even turn out they’re still interested, just busy. In which case this email would be a great self-effacing way to show them you’re always growing, and to start the conversation again.
You can also just occasionally let them know you’re still out there. A quick email along the lines of, “Were you still interested in [X result]?,” could be all it takes. (With a hat-tip to Dean Jackson for his 9-Word Email.)
The biggest thing…
Is to make sure you’re reaching out to prospects who are a good fit for you, and that you’ve made yourself a good fit for them.
It goes both ways. But when the fit is right, you’ll almost never have this issue.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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