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How To Re-Engage A Prospect Gone Cold

You got a prospect interested in your service and you had a few great meetings. You knew they had the need, budget, and buy-in from other stakeholders in their organization. 

 

And then they disappeared.

 

At first you weren’t worried. People can take a few extra days to respond to emails. 

 

But then a few more days went by. Then a week. Two weeks. 

 

Stress has now set in since you realized that the big deal you thought you were going to close imminently has vanished.

 

Tons of work went into getting to this stage and now you’re upset that the chance for the sale to close have seemingly disappeared.

 

First of all, don’t be too hard on  yourself and get out of your own head. There’s a lot you can do to rekindle the sales process and save the deal.

 

 

Here are the steps you should take to reengage a prospect gone cold and potentially close a deal:

 

  Define next steps on a meeting

 

This is really something that should have been done during your last interaction with the prospect. On your last call, did the prospect tell you when you should expect to hear from them?

 

If so, there’s no issue shooting them a quick message or two asking them how they’re doing and what the status is on their end. If you have it in writing when you agreed you should follow up, this is perfectly acceptable.

 

Don’t hesitate to send a follow up email. You’re not bothering anyone and you’re not desperate. You’re just checking in with them after what you agreed would happen did not actually happen.

 

  Give them a call

 

You should always have your prospects’ phone numbers on hand to easily reach them. If a prospect’s phone number isn’t in their email signature or they didn’t explicitly give it to you, ask for it on your qualification demo.

 

You can even tell them you’d like to exchange numbers in case either of you have any questions. When they give you their number, send them a text immediately saying:

 

“Hey, this is {{Your_Name}}. Now you have my number.”

 

Once you have your prospect’s phone number, use it carefully. Give them a call and send an email afterwards letting them know you called if they don’t pick up.

 

Feel free to send a message using SMS or Whatsapp. You will know within a couple days whether your prospect is just busy or is deliberately avoiding you.

 

  Ask easy yes or no questions on your follow ups

 

If you don’t reach them by phone and you’re reliant on written communication, write short messages with questions that warrant clear yes or no answers.

 

This makes it easy for your prospect to reply. Don’t ask them questions that make them think too much, since that may cause them just to continue putting off getting in touch with you.

 

Try one of the following questions:

 

Do you need any more information from my side? 

 

Do you have a timeline for when you’d like to get started?

 

Would you like me to present our solution to your colleagues at {{Company}} some time next week?

 

Have you and your team decided on a timeline for getting started?

 

Can you set a follow-up meeting for next week?

 

If they answer you with a yes or no and short couple of sentences with more information about what’s going on their side, that’s great news.

 

  Break up with them

 

If you still don’t hear from your prospect after numerous follow ups, it may be time to break up with them.  

 

There could be numerous reasons why they’ve stopped communicating with you that have nothing to do with you.

 

Maybe they don’t have the authority to make a decision and they don’t want to tell you that because it makes them look unimportant 

 

Maybe something is happening in their personal life that is taking up their focus.

 

Maybe they’re just overwhelmed with some other urgent project and don’t have social skills to communicate bad news to you.

 

Maybe they’re low-key looking for a new job and are mentally checked out at their current job.

 

Not everyone is good at delivering bad news. Many avoid it at all costs since they hate “disappointing people” and would rather give no news than bad news.

 

That should annoy you since you’re spending so much time chasing a ghost.  

 

At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own decisions and at this stage you are potentially wasting time following up with an uninterested prospect when you could be putting your time and efforts to better use.

 

If you take the initiative and “break up” with them, you are deciding to effectively give up on the sales process.

 

That may be painful, but when you send a “break up” message, you may be more likely to get a response because you’ve done the difficult work your prospect didn’t feel comfortable doing.

 

Try out the following template:

 

Subject: Still relevant?

 

Hi {{FirstName}},

 

I hope you’re having a great week! I’ve tried reaching out a few times over the past few weeks, but I haven’t heard back from you yet.

 

Are you and your colleagues at {{Company}} still considering adopting our solution?

 

If not, please let me know, so I can stop following up.

 

When you write a message like that, you’re showing your prospect that they’re doing you a favor by giving you the bad news, which is the truth.

 

Anything that saves a salesperson time is a good thing, even if it means losing the deal.

 

  Follow up every few months

 

If you didn’t hear back from your prospect after your break up email, it makes sense to follow up with them twice every 2-3 months or so.

 

Twice because you want to follow up once to ask if now is a better time to re-engage and a second time to confirm they received your email.

 

At this point, it does make sense to stop all contact completely for that period of time unless you have something actually news-worthy to contact them about.

 

If you have industry information, a relevant article, or anything else that gives you an actual reason to get in touch, feel free to do so.

 

But if you don’t, it’s best to put this prospect on the back burner for a couple months and dedicate your efforts elsewhere.