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“Salesperson, Why Are You ‘Ghosting’ Me?”

by David Brock on April 22nd, 2022

To be honest, I may respond to less than 5% of the sales outreaches I get. I trash or spam most. But I’ve noticed over 60% of those that I do respond to, I get “ghosted.”

By that, I mean, some sales person has taken the trouble to find me and reach out to me, and I’m interested enough to say, “tell me more….” But they disappear.

Every day we read of the struggles sales people have in attracting interest, getting people to respond. We spend all sorts of money learning what we might do to better generate interest. We conduct all sorts of outreach programs, we invest in developing prospecting sequences, we invest in tools and technology to help in our outreaches.

Maybe it’s me, but for those few outreaches I do respond to, the majority never follow up to my response.

Sometimes, I suspect it’s that I give them an unexpected response. Too often, the response they want is for me to take the time to click on their Calendly link so they can talk to me about what they want to talk about. I never agree to these meetings without learning a little more.

Perhaps, they don’t like the response, which is usually a question, “What is it about our company that makes you think we need to look at this?” Even if they had blindly reached out, they could take the response as an expression of interest, do some quick research and respond. But the majority don’t, because it’s not the response they wanted or expected.

I feel some remorse, I didn’t know how I should respond, properly, to get them to show interest in selling to me. I didn’t get the script, so I just responded with the things I care about.

Sometimes, my responses are negative, but intended to be helpful for their future targeting. I recently got an outreach because, somehow, the sales person thought our company worked in “public safety.” It was actually a good prospecting note, except we weren’t the right company. I responded, “I’m sorry, we don’t work in public safety, so we wouldn’t be interested in talking about your solutions. However, we have several clients in that space, maybe we can introduce you to them…..” Crickets. I suspect that because we weren’t potential buyers, the sales person was no longer interested.

However, a response is a response. It seems a terrible waste not to follow up to explore. Even if the response isn’t what we wanted or expected, it’s an opportunity to engage.

Perhaps it’s because the response is an “objection.” But, in my experience, the majority of responses are some sort of question, “Why should we be talking?”

I suppose, sales people are trained to expect certain responses, “Yes, let’s do a discovery call, I don’t know that I have a problem, but I’m glad to go through your discovery process…..” Or, “Yes, I’m glad to see a demo, I can’t imagine why we’d be interested, but I’m just trying to figure out how to fill my time…..”

I suppose I may be a bad prospect, because I even if I’m interested, I’m probably not interested in what you want to talk about, I’m more interested in what I want to talk about.

A prospect response is a terrible thing to waste.

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One Comment
  1. Dave Olson permalink

    Hey Dave,
    Good post, but it seems no matter now many times we bring this up, the “sellers” don’t respond. I think it is because we assume we are writing to an actual individual seller, but maybe it is really just prospect email producing AI. It is good at producing those emails, in hopes of generating the meeting you mentioned, presumably with one of the humans working there.

    Maybe, no one explained your use case to the developers and so the AI software must ignore your “well intentioned” response. Or, I believe more likely, your use case was considered, but the sellers at this firm aren’t really interested in pursuing it. That seems silly to me, but I always believe that I am entitled to 100% of the sales in my territory and 100% of the available revenue from every lead too, as long as I show up, provide value and ask for the business. At a minimum an engaged seller could learn a lot from the conversation you are requesting.

    Indeed, wasting the opportunity to interact with a prospect would be like ignoring inbound calls back before email. Seriously … who would do that?


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