Let’s face it, we have all been there. An exciting opportunity with a customer or prospect arises, and after days, weeks, or even months of phone calls, emails, and meetings, all communication is dropped, and they are never heard from again. In the dating world, this is called “ghosting” (defined by Dictionary.com as “the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship”).
Unfortunately for sales and marketing professionals, ghosting is also a common practice in the business world. It’s important to put a strategy in place that prevents your customers and prospects from “ghosting” you by giving them a compelling reason to stay.
Why do people “ghost”?
People change their minds for a variety of reasons and choose to end a business relationship.
It’s not you, it’s me:
- The timing isn’t right.
- They don’t have the right budget.
- They aren’t the decision maker.
- They aren’t interested in what you are selling.
Or, maybe it is you:
- You communicate with them too often – or not enough.
- Your value proposition is unclear.
- Your sales pitch feels too strong or aggressive.
- The next step in the sales process is unclear or confusing.
Rather than tell you directly, they “ghost” you:
- They don’t want to disappoint you by saying “no.”
- They think you should already know what the problem is.
- They don’t want to appear aggressive or confrontational.
- They don’t want you to keep trying.
How to prevent it from happening:
If you want to prevent being “ghosted” by customers and prospects, you have to give them a compelling reason to stay. Start by taking the time to understand their individual needs and interests, so you can deliver personalized, relevant experiences that not only make them feel valued and understood, but also empower them to feel comfortable, keeping you updated as they move through the buyer journey. If you find yourself being “ghosted” don’t take it personally, just adjust your communication schedule to send them well-timed reminders via email, direct mail, and digital retargeting channels that allow you to remain present until they are ready to get back into an engaged interaction, without coming on too strong or pressuring them to make a decision.
The Bottom Line
“Ghosting” can be prevented with the right strategy in place. It all comes down to how much you know about your customer and how you are able to use that information to give them a compelling reason to stay.