Total Eclipse of Your Prospect: When They Go Dark


This is Mark Trinkle, Chief Growth Officer with Anthony Cole Training Group, with our latest edition of our Sales Brew. Now maybe you were lucky this week and you had the opportunity to view the solar eclipse. I had the great blessing of being in a section here in Ohio where we were in that zone of totality for just a few minutes. Our sunny day went dark just a little bit after 03:00 PM. As I sat there and took in the eclipse, I began to wonder, what about you and me and our prospects when they go dark?

What about a total eclipse of your prospect? Why does that happen? Why does a prospect who’s engaged with you and talking with you suddenly go quiet? And so what do you do when that prospect goes dark? Well, let’s start with why it could happen before we answer the question of what you should do.

Sometimes it happens because that prospect is just incredibly consumed by other priorities. Sometimes it happens because you are pursuing or chasing a prospect. They have an issue, they have an irritation, but they don’t have a compelling reason to make a change. Sometimes the sad reality is that your prospect has a problem but it is not yet a priority. Sometimes your timing is off. And last but certainly not least, sometimes you are not, at the end of the day, speaking to the true decision maker or even worse, the real decision makers. So that’s why it happens.

So what do you do? Well, I’m a big fan of calling the question right onto the table and sending an email to your prospect. Or if you have the chance to speak with them by phone, asking them about what the cause of the delay really is. Whether it is written by you in an email, or expressed by you on a phone call with your prospect, look at A, B, and C below.

Sometimes prospects decide they can live with the problem that they’ve been discussing with you. It seemed like something they wanted to fix. You sounded like you might have a solution. But at the end of the day, and we call this prospect indifference: they’ve decided they can just live with the problem. How about B? Maybe they still want to fix the problem. I’m not I’m not agreeing with their inability or unwillingness to respond to your email or return your voicemail, but sometimes they want to fix it. But there are other priorities that are pressing in on them. And then the third possibility (and this one hurts) but when would you rather know the truth? Now or tomorrow? They found somebody else they love just a little bit more than you to fix the problem.

Now, if you want to craft these options into an email, you can make it incredibly easy for your prospect to respond by simply writing the A, B and the C and then writing this very short sentence that says “I want my follow up with you to be respectful and appropriate to make it as easy as possible. Please pick A, B or C.”

I hope that helps you understand why prospects go dark. I hope it gives you a sense of what you can do about it. Now go out and have a great day!

From Mark Trinkle, Chief Growth Officer
Anthony Cole Training Group


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