A Dose of Reality – It Just Might be YOUR fault

What Would You Do Wednesdays has been a huge hit so far. The responses have been unbelievable.  If you haven’t read them you are missing out.  They are great answers to tough sales challenges like; how to get past the keeper and what to do when no one calls you back.  If you’re in sales they are a must read.

One of my favorite responses came from Townsend Wardlaw.  It’s a biting, hard hitting, true piece of sales advice on what happens when no one is calling you back.  He doesn’t mince words and in this situation, he’s right.

You blew it from the start…. leaving a meeting with NO SCHEDULED commitment to a follow-up meeting is an #epic fail.

If you worked for me and expended gas money (or god forbid airfare) on this meeting you would have your resume on Monster.com right now.

If the best you can get from a prospect is ‘why don’t you call us next week to follow up’ then:

1) You didn’t try to gain commitment to a scheduled next step and suck at sales
2) You tried and failed at getting a commitment to a scheduled next step and thus… suck at sales
3) whatever you are talking about is of no real interest, need, and/or priority to the prospect and you need to call this out in the meeting rather than acting like a beggar hoping they give you some time

Bottom line: if  a prospect won’t commit their time… they won’t commit their money.

Any representation by the client (or you) that ‘They Loved Your Solution.’ is BS.

More importantly, prospects that can’t or won’t commit their time to the buying process will never invest the effort necessary to make them a successful customer.

To answer the question directly… your next move is simple: Send a ‘Close the File’ email and voicemail to every attendee (you did get everyone’s contact info didn’t you?)

A close the file message is simple… its looks like this.
– Unfortunately, we have not been able to connect since our meeting
– Despite several attempts… I have not heard anything from you.
– I hope everything is ok
– My assumption is, despite your initial enthusiasm, other initiatives have emerged that make our conversation irrelevant for the time being
– If this is the case, I would greatly appreciate your permission to CLOSE THE FILE on your company and this opportunity
– If for some reason I am off base or have misinterpreted your lack of response, please accept my apologies and I look forward to hearing from you.


Many times the challenges we experience in sales are self induced. They are the result of what we’ve done or haven’t done. Too often we blame the wrong things. We blame the prospect or the product but not our poor execution. Townsend nailed it here.  There are a number of things the sales person could have done to avoid ever having to even be in this situation.  He just had to do them.

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