If you've been selling for a while, you've probably had at least one experience in which your prospect suddenly started giving you the "silent treatment." When this happens, it's natural to feel anxious and confused. You may tell yourself, "It's not as if I'm the one who did anything wrong. I put everything into nurturing the relationship. And how can I rescue the sale if I can't even get them to talk to me?"
There is a pressure-free way to reestablish communication when your prospect starts giving you the "silent treatment." But first, it's important to understand why the situation has happened in the first place.
Most of us who sell get caught up in "hopeium," a comical term that means we focus our hopes and desires on making the sale. But hopeium is a trap, because it impossible for you to keep in mind your most important goal: to learn your prospect's truth.
When we fix our minds on the outcome - making the sale - we automatically begin anticipating how the process will go, and we also begin expecting that things will happen as we hope they will. But if we're in that mindset and our prospect suddenly breaks off communication, we feel lost, anxious, frustrated, discouraged, and confused. We become preoccupied with what went wrong. We may even feel betrayed.
Is there any way to clear up the mystery? Yes, by giving up your agenda and learning the truth about where you stand with your prospect - and being ok with whatever the truth may be. "But how can I learn the truth when they're avoiding me?" you may ask. "And why do I need to let go of the sale?"
Let's take the second question first. If you approach your prospect while you still hope the sale will happen, you'll introduce sales pressure into the relationship. This will push your prospect away from you and destroy any trust you have developed with them. Instead, you can eliminate all sales pressure by telling them that you're okay with their decision if they've decided not to move forward. In other words, you take a step back instead of trying to chase and follow up with calls because you're focused on getting a "yes."
The bottom line is: When a prospect gives you the "silent treatment," it doesn't mean you've lost the sale. It just means you don't know the truth yet. What you need to do is call and learn the truth.
Here's some language I suggest that will make prospects feel safe enough to open up and tell you the truth about their situation: "Hi, Jim, I am calling to apologize that we ended up not being able to connect. I feel like somewhere along the way maybe I dropped the ball, or I didn't give you the information you needed. I'm not calling to move things forward because I'm assuming you've probably gone ahead with someone else, and that's perfectly okay. I'm just checking to see if you may have some feedback as to where I can improve for next time."
When you respond to the "silent treatment" this way, the results will probably surprise you. You may even learn that the prospect has legitimate reasons for not having gotten back to you. You'll also find yourself more productive and less frustrated. It'll make a world of difference in your productivity level, your stress level, your income, and how much you enjoy what you're doing.
Remember, you haven't lost the sale. You just don't know the truth yet.
This article Used By Permission Ari Galper is the founder of Unlock The GameTM, http://ww.UnlockTheGame.com