Sales Effectiveness Best Practices: How to Avoid Being Ghosted

By Michelle Bendien

My husband and I visited a dealership and looked at a new SUV.

Now, we don’t NEED a new SUV; frankly, we were waiting for our current SUV to get new tires.

But look, we did. And we even took a test drive of the brand-new model.

It had some good points and some not-so-good points, and we shared our thoughts with the salesperson in detail, along with a very candid explanation of why we likely weren’t going to buy one any time soon.

Cut to two weeks later when the phone calls started pouring in from a bunch of salespeople we didn’t talk to who all left us the same voicemail:

“I know you wanted to move up to that new model, and we’ve got a great deal this week…” followed by, “Here’s my name and number.”

Have we returned any of those calls? Not a single one.

If the original salesperson had called us, he could have used what he learned from our test drive to persuade us to return. But that’s not even close to what happened.

So let me ask you – do you ever find yourself saying something like this:

“Why won’t my sales prospects call me back? I keep following up, and I hear nothing from them. What am I doing wrong?”

The answer to this perplexing and frustrating question is found in one or more of the following four reasons. Use these best practices to improve your sales effectiveness.

You Waited Too Long to Call Your Prospect

Good follow-up = fast follow-up. Think you can call your prospect a week after your initial visit, and they’ll be waiting for you? Think again.

As our research and infographic show, your competitor already called your prospect. The first movers win the sale.

Here’s my tip – call your prospect back on the day you meet with them. Yes. Same. Day.

Now that you’ve got their attention avoid these other pitfalls.

You Made Your Presentation About the Product or the Deal and not About the Prospect

Here’s a question for you: did your sales presentation focus on the customer’s mission—on how their life needs improving, on their pain points, and how your product could directly help—or did you ramble on about how great your product is?

Did you learn any personal details about them and their situation, or did you focus on telling them about your company and what you had to sell?

A tip: Just because your prospect nodded throughout your presentation doesn’t mean they were into your words.

They were hoping the pain would end soon!

Prospects are only interested in re-engaging with salespeople who make the process about them, not the sale or the product.

Your Follow-up Message Wasn’t Compelling

Did your follow-up message sound like this: “Hey, it’s Ed. I was just following up! What did you decide? Call me! I’m here all day.”

Boring and sounds self-serving! It reeks of – hey, I’m a bit short on my sales numbers for the month. Can you call me to make a deal so I don’t get fired?! Not good.

Make your follow-up message personal and all about the prospect, not you.

Not to beat a dead horse, but if you are not making your messaging about the specific prospect, then they have no genuine interest in reconnecting.

A more vital follow-up message includes specific details about the prospect’s motivation for buying your product, how the purchase will alleviate their current pain points, and how it will improve their lives.

Make your messages prospect specific, and don’t be afraid to include a little humor!

You Didn’t Control the Next Step

As a salesperson, you should always own the next step. Never put the burden on your buyer to move a sale forward.

Salespeople often make the mistake of ending sales conversations with phrases like “Call me,” “Let me know,” or “I’ll wait to hear from you.”

When conversations end this way, following up feels awkward because the proper expectations need to be set.

Always set the next step and control it – for example: “How about we do this: I’ll give you a quick check-in call this evening to see if you have any questions that may come up between now and then so you don’t stay awake all night churning on them. How does that sound?”

Getting your prospects to call you back is the key to converting more sales. Your challenge is to make your prospect welcome and appreciate your follow-up call.

Build trust with your prospect, make your presentation all about them (not about you!), and you’ll create the chance to change someone’s world!

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About the Author: Michelle Bendien

With over two decades of diverse experience in the new home building industry, Michelle Bendien brings her intellect, world-class communication skills and passion for real estate to help sales teams across the country to achieve mastery level selling skills.