What to Do When Your Prospects Don’t Keep Their Word

We’ve all been there. Prospects say they will buy or they want your service or they will call you back and they don’t. They just disappear, in spite of their promises.

Ray is a sales person with a client and he was struggling with this very challenge. I asked him to share his experience with this community, because his story is solid. You’re going to enjoy this.


“Accountability……You need to hold your prospects accountable”  

I’m sure this happens to all of us every now and then and it’s the perpetually stuck prospect. 

 ….Your solution is a perfect fit for the prospect.

….The prospect agrees as well

….The value of the deal is large and will help your quota considerably

….The prospect agrees to present to management for approval

….and then nothing…..absolutely nothing for weeks and sometimes months

 No phone calls answered. No emails answered. Absolutely nothing.

 And when this happens the tendency is to start selling all over again and sending all kinds of new information, charts, ROI’s to sell the value of the deal again because you are getting no feedback at all.   I was totally guilty of this approach for the last 7 months with a tremendous brand that I was trying to close and sent way too many unanswered emails and left way too many unanswered voice mails trying to get my prospects attention.

 I decided to bring this challenge to Jim a few weeks ago and we spent 20 minutes on a call reviewing the history and some of the emails. It didn’t take him long to say “You’re not holding your prospect accountable……ask him what happened?……..remind him that he told you this was something he believed in and was going to get approved…..simple as that”

 So, I sent the email and within 2 hours received a reply from my prospect.  The first one in 9 weeks and he told me that the proposal was not approved because the Executive VPs weren’t convinced of the ROI and value of our solution.  Simple and just the information I needed to deal with the objection and get this deal unstuck.  

 Of course I shared the good news with Jim and  if you know Jim these words will ring true….. “Did you have any doubt this would work ? “   I laughed and said….well, I didn’t think it could be that simple after all this time.   

 His next piece of advice was key to closing this deal and involved creating an ROI illustration that would show the value of our solution 3 different ways.  One extremely conservative, one moderate and the third aggressive.  He then suggested annualizing this over three years and presenting it to the prospect to show him that even with the most conservative approach, the value for their business was extremely significant….especially when considered over three years.

 Well, I’m happy to report that the deal was closed within 10 days of my coaching session with Jim and I can’t wait for my next session.

Far too often sales people are afraid to challenge their buyers. They are afraid to hold them accountable. Here’s the deal. If your buyer commits to you, then you hold them accountable. Don’t let them off the hook. You didn’t force them to say they would meet, buy, share or give. They made the commitment all by their pretty little selves and therefore it’s their responsibility to follow through. If they don’t, you have every right to call them out.

Hold your buyers accountable, it’s that simple.