When prospects don’t respond, think in terms of what gets your attention, what gets you to respond? What makes you want to respond when someone else is reaching out to you? That can also be a great indicator of what you may want to be saying to the other person to try to get a response from them. Now, they might not respond to exactly the same things that you respond to. But it’s possible they will, and it’s not a bad place to start.
David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, co-host Jay McFarlane and I will be discussing why people don’t respond. Welcome back, Jay.
Jay: Hey, thank you so much David. This is something that frustrates me in the process when I’ve made a good faith effort, I’m expecting a response and I get crickets and it, you know, it’s one of the hardest things to deal with in sales because you got to constantly be remotivation yourself and when you’re not getting a response back, it’s hard to stay motivated.
David: It is. And it’s hard to not take it personally sometimes. Even though it’s very rarely personal. It’s hardly ever personal. It’s almost never personal, but it’s still hard to get past that when it’s happening.
Jay: Yeah, I I totally agree with you. And again, I think you just kind of have to have that framework that you know it’s going to happen. It’s not personal and you just got to get through those.
But I also think that you have to ask yourself some questions and reassess what is our communication system? I’ve found that there are people who will respond via text, but they’re never going to respond via email or they will pick up their phone or they’ll never pick up their phone.
So you’re kind of learning, and I keep track of these notes as I’m trying to reach out to people. And if I can get somebody via text, that’s the way I’m going. I just will stop sending that person emails. So, I think learning along the way about each person and their preferred mode of contact is very important.
David: Yeah, that is a huge one. such a great point. And I know we’ve talked about this in previous podcasts. We normally talk about it in terms of marketing and sales, but it applies just as much to telephone calls because they’re marketing, they’re sales as well. But we’ve talked in the past about the MVPs of Marketing.
What is the marketing message we want to communicate? Which combination of marketing vehicles are we going to use to communicate the message? And who are the people or prospects that we need to reach? And when people are not responding? Well, the P part of it is covered. The people that we’re talking to, the person who’s not responding, that’s the person that we’re talking about.
So if they’re not responding, it is either the person themselves, they’re just not going to do it. But if they are still potentially going to be engaged with us, then the reason they’re not responding is usually either the message or the vehicle, like you pointed out. They’re not going to respond to an email, but they very likely will respond to a text.
Cool. That’s easy. Okay. Now we’ll communicate via text. They won’t pick up the phone, they won’t return voicemails, but they will respond to text. Great. Once you get something like that nailed down, you’re back in the saddle again. as the old song went.
But a lot of times people don’t even think of that because your preferred method of communication might be different than mine. And if mine is to pick up the phone and call you again and again and again and again, which it is not. But if it were, and if your method of communication is text, then you’re not going to respond to me. You’re probably going to get annoyed at what I’m doing and I’m going to be annoyed at the fact that you’re not responding to me. And it’s a simple disconnect that can actually be addressed very quickly.
But if somebody is not responding to any of the different methods of communication that you’ve tried, and today there are a lot. If they don’t respond to you on the phone, you can send them a text, you can send them an email, you can message them on social media. You can send them something in the mail.
There are lots of different things that you can do. If they’re not responding to any of it, then it’s very likely either the message that you’re communicating to them where they just want to have nothing to do with you, they don’t want to communicate with you at all, or it’s the person themselves, they’re just not going to do it.
And for me, it’s very helpful to try to break those things down and when people don’t respond, it’s very discourteous in my opinion. That’s a nice word that I’m using there. It’s very discourteous, and so I try to communicate that to people in as nice a way as I can.
Not to say, “Hey, you’re being rude,” but sometimes if I don’t get a response to something, I’ll reply back and I’ll say, Hey, listen, I haven’t heard back from you on this. Please let me know what you’re thinking either way. I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply. And very often just those words, “I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply,” will get some sort of response. Because what it’s saying is you’re not being courteous. But it’s not actually saying that. And so a lot of times people can read that and they can say, “oh yeah, I should reply to this because it isn’t courteous.” But you’re not accusing them.
David: So things like that where you can, and I’m not suggesting you just jump right into that, “Hey, you’re being rude.” I’m not suggesting any sort of attack like that. But just pointing out to them that if you’re a professional, you want to be treated like a professional.
If I’m going to treat you like a professional, I’d appreciate if you would treat me like a professional. And again, you’re not saying this, you’re not lecturing, but you’re just sort of building in the subtext that if we’re going to work together, let’s work together. If we’re not going to work together, let’s not work together. But let’s just be upfront about it because our time is valuable.
Jay: Yeah. And I think that’s more for people. That’s not really a cold calling technique, right? That’s
Jay: After you’ve had some initial conversation, you’ve talked about maybe moving forward, and then suddenly they’re ghosting you.
Right? Which is the term that everybody uses now, right? And you’re like, you know, I thought we were moving forward and now, nothing. I’m not getting anything from you. I think that’s when you can send a message like that. Because they’ve occupied your time. Right. And you only have a certain amount of time. Time capital, right?
Jay: And so, if they’ve taken up that time with you and expressed an interest, and now they’re ghosting you, it isn’t courteous. Because they’re not recognizing or respecting the amount of work and effort that you’ve put into them. So finding ways to communicate that, and I think you have, is a very important part of the process. But I’ll be honest, it’s one that makes me nervous. So…
David: Sure, absolutely. And as we talked about at the beginning of this podcast, there may be a lot of reasons they’re not responding. And a lot of it is not personal. They could be very busy, they could be very distracted.
It’s possible that they’re rude or obnoxious, but usually it’s not that if you’ve already had some sort of relationship with them. If you’ve had a conversation with them that was meaningful and went somewhere and seemed like you’re on the same page, then it’s usually not that. But they could be very busy or distracted or focused on other things or working under a time deadline.
But that’s all about them. So if we sort of go back to what we were talking about in our previous podcast about taking ownership of our results, then we say, okay, well what can we do about it?
If we need to get a call back, if we want to get a call back and they’re not responding, can I look at some of these other marketing vehicles?
Can I look at the texts? Can I look at the email and see if I can get a response back like that? What can we do? Because, once again, if we just say, “well, they’re ghosting me,” we’re not taking action on our part to correct the situation.
Jay: Yeah. Yeah. And one of the other things that I’ve done is oftentimes we’re trying to get through the gatekeeper, you know, because so many people have that gatekeeper.
But oftentimes you could go back to the gatekeeper. You’ve gotten through, you’ve spoken to the principal, the one who writes the checks. Now he’s not responding. Sometimes going back to that gatekeeper and saying, Hey I know he is really busy. Do you think you can get me back on his schedule?
Jay: And that’s a way for him to reserve out time for you. He doesn’t even know it’s happening right? But suddenly you appear on the schedule and you’re calling and he’s actually had that time blocked out by the gatekeeper. So that’s one tactic I’ve used in the past.
David: It’s a great one. It really is. And also in terms of the messaging, if you think in terms of what gets your attention, what gets you to respond, what makes you want to respond when someone else is reaching out to you, that can also be a great indicator of what you may want to be saying to the other person to try to get a response from them.
Now, they might not respond to exactly the same things that you respond to. But it’s possible they will, and it’s not a bad place to start.
Another thing that I think it’s important to consider is that there are some cases where the person that you talked to, just doesn’t believe you,
They don’t believe you can do what you said you’re going to do. They don’t believe some element of what you told them. And they might not want to tell you that. So in order to sort of reactivate that credibility, sometimes it’s important to follow up with authority kinds of demonstrations. Whether it’s testimonials or a story about a case study or something like that, that would reengage them and have them say, “oh, okay, well yeah, I guess this person actually did do this. They actually are being truthful in what they’re able to do and what they’re not able to do. Yeah, maybe I’ll pick up this discussion.”
And then they’re always, you know, the people who are not interested, I’m just not interested and they don’t want to tell you. At which point, you can often find that out in an email.
You know, “Hey, if you’re just not interested in this, please let me know. I don’t want to waste another moment of your time or mine.” And I’ve said that a lot. Because it’s true. I don’t want to waste the other person’s time if they’re not interested. I don’t want to waste my time if they’re not interested.
That’s respectful of both our times. And sometimes somebody will come back and say, “yeah, I just don’t think it’s the right time,” or I don’t think this, or I don’t think that. At which point you can then respond however you want. Whether it’s to try to reengage and address the specific issue that they put in there, or if it’s to say, okay, yeah, we really don’t have a fit. Let’s call it a day and I’ll move on to the next prospect.
So lots of different options there, but it’s important to remember that there’s no one size fits all solution here.
Jay: Yeah, I do like the idea of saying, look, if you don’t have time, that’s great. Because I have a ton of other customers that are waiting.
What I like about that is the last thing I think any of us want to do is appear desperate. I think once you send that emotion of desperation, you’ve completely lost the battle. And you want to be always from a position of authority and listen, you need me more than I need you, right?
And that’s kind of what you’re saying in a very kind way. You know, if it’s not you, I’ve got a hundred people behind you and that may make them feel like, well, his time is precious, so I’m going to get this done. Or you may find that that’s not the right person, and so you can move on.
David: Yeah. And it’s particularly important that that is actual, real authority, that it’s true. Because there are people who will take an approach like that and go, “well, you know, you’re missing out more than I am.” And they hang up the phone and they’re like, “oh no.”
David: If that’s a situation, I would say you might not want to use it, but if you really do have it dialed in, when you have more prospects than you have time to fulfill on, then it really does become easier to say, “okay, next.”
And it’s not personal for that prospect either. It’s like, “okay, hey, I’m really busy.”
“You know what? If you’re really busy, if it’s not a good time, if this isn’t a good fit, just say the word, and I’m out of here.” Because life’s too short. Particularly to chase people who are not interested in being caught.
I did a lot of that in the early stage of my career and I am never doing it again. Never.
Jay: Yeah, and you have to admit it’s gotten harder because people’s phones are now programmed to not accept any calls that they don’t recognize. We’ve got spam filters, we’ve got gatekeepers.
It’s getting harder and harder to get through to people, and so we have to get more and more creative in the process. And so once you finally can break through, it’s like getting a fish on the line. You do want to do everything you can to bring that fish in, but sometimes you got to realize it’s not going to happen.
David: If it’s a good prospect, that’s absolutely correct. If you talk to somebody and you’re like, “oh, I know I can help this person,” but they either can’t see it or they don’t have the time or they don’t have the desire, it’s frustrating because, you know, hey, look, if I were to help this person, it would help them enormously.
I can see exactly how I can bring value to them. And if they don’t see it, and if you can’t allow them to see it, then it’s not going to happen. But that also brings us to the idea that if what we’re saying is not appealing enough, that’s also a big consideration.
So it’s one thing if they’re not interested or this or that, but if we haven’t positioned what it is that we’re able to do in a way that is appealing enough that they see the benefits, they see the transformation that could happen, they’re able to visualize a better future with us in it than with us not in it. If you’re able to do those things, then it’s less likely that they’re going to just disappear on you.
But if we don’t do a great job of making it that appealing and it needs to be that appealing in order for us to make it that appealing, then they’re going to wander off.
Jay: Yeah. And wandering away is absolutely the opposite of what we want them to do.
David, how can people find out more?
David: Well, you can go to TopSecrets.com/call. Schedule a call with myself or my team. We can walk you through some of the things that you’re dealing with right now, some of the issues that you’re struggling with. If you have trouble getting people to respond to you, it’s very likely related to one of the MVPs and everything that we do with our clients is designed to help them to increase their sales and profits. So we’d love to have that conversation. Just go to TopSecrets.com/call.
Well, I know I learned so much from our discussion, so I know that when they call you there’s going to be some great information there. Thank you so much for your time today, David.
Thank you, Jay.
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