From Silence to Connection: Tackling Customer Ghosting Head On
Sudden silence from a promising client can be confusing and frustrating. ‘Ghosting’ has become THE challenge for salespeople. What causes it, how do salespeople make it worse, and what can we do about it?
Why Ghosting Occurs:
Ghosting is symptomatic of broader challenges in sales. With only 29% of salespeople hitting Q4 2022 targets, and a projected 40% expected to achieve goals in 2023, the sales environment is more challenging than ever. A staggering 53% of deals now end in inaction. This makes for uncertain salespeople and inaccurate forecasts.
Understanding The Customer’s Perspective:
To understand why customers resort to ghosting, we need to empathize with their position. Buyers face increased scrutiny, with more stakeholders involved in the buying process and a myriad of options to consider. The onslaught of automated, generic outreach further complicates their decision-making process, making it harder for them to navigate solutions.
To mitigate ghosting, salespeople must provide an exceptional customer experience that makes buying easy. Understanding the challenges buyers face and addressing them throughout the sales journey is key to reducing the likelihood of being ghosted.
Common Mistakes Aggravating Ghosting:
In the pursuit of meeting targets, salespeople often contribute to client ghosting. Common mistakes include:
- Failing to build a compelling case for change, underestimating the importance of overcoming 'status quo bias.'
- Qualifying prospects ‘in’ rather than ‘out’, resulting in pipelines filled with non-committed opportunities.
- Pitching solutions without comprehensive support, leaving buyers to navigate complex decision-making processes alone.
Preventing Ghosting: Key Strategies
- Build a compelling case for change: Clearly articulate why clients need to embrace something new, emphasizing the limitations of maintaining the status quo.
- Focus on qualifying ‘out’: Look for signs that indicate the client is not ready to decide or buy and keep qualification at the forefront of the sales process.
- De-risk the purchase: Collaborate with buyers to map out the decision-making process, anticipate potential challenges, and co-create a plan to drive the decision through their business.
While preventing ghosting may not have a one-size-fits-all solution, adopting a customer-centric sales approach aligned with the buyer's journey significantly reduces the likelihood of encountering radio silence from potential clients.
Raoul Monks, Founder and CEO of Flume Sales Training, talks about ghosting in his keynote presentation on 30th November at 11am. They are also offering free sales advice in their advisory clinic – if you would like to book a slot before the event you can do so here.