Ensuring client responsiveness starts on day one, with the very first sales prospecting touchpoint. From the beginning, the goal is to develop a strong relationship – built on trust, competency and communication. Throughout the account management process, follow these tips to help you form relationships that won’t dead-end in unanswered emails.
- Prevent unresponsiveness by communicating clearly. In your first interaction, confirm the best method of contact. If the opportunity is time dependent, explain early in your process what, if any, consequences will occur if the deadlines are not met.
- Go wide. It’s always a good idea to “go wide” within an account (when appropriate) to develop multiple contacts and relationships. At TitanHouse, we constantly coach our sales team not to become siloed in an account. If you’ve developed more than one relationship within a company, if one door closes, you still have other avenues to close the deal.
- Connect with the right people. Understand your clients’ buying process and develop relationships with the appropriate strategic contacts. This could be a power user, budget holder, contract signer, strategic influencer – Anyone who can help your opportunity proceed.
- Get more than an email address. For each person you engage, make sure you get multiple contact points – not just their email and mobile numbers but their assistants’ email and mobile numbers as well.
- Don’t assume unresponsiveness is business-related. If a client or prospect goes dark, use all angles possible to re-engage. Text is generally the best place to start. But don’t assume your contact has gone dark for business reasons. There could be personal circumstances at play, so make sure you are respectful in any communication.
- Ask for leadership assistance. If you’ve tried multiple avenues of contact and still aren’t getting a response, engage a senior leader on your sales team or within your company. A touchpoint from someone in a senior role can often get a prospect to respond. It may also make the client or prospect feel that their business is highly valued.
- Consistent communication will prevent most issues. For example, if your client success team is only communicating once every six months, your clients might feel like they’re just another number in your client deck. You should be checking in with clients at least monthly. Schedule regular calls to discuss new products and solutions, any changes on concerns within their company, and initiatives for the upcoming quarter.
- Check in via social media. If a client or prospect continues to be unresponsive to emails and texts, use another channel, like LinkedIn or Facebook. Make your note personal and concerned: “I haven’t heard back from you, and I want to check in to make sure everything is okay.”
- If your point of contact is still unresponsive, reach out or go to someone else. Preferably, this will be a power user or strategic influencer. This is where having multiple contacts will come in handy. But remember, when you go above or around your main POC, be tactful in how you go about it. You never know how a client will react to this. Make sure all the communication attempts are documented, just in case you need them to justify your actions
Unresponsiveness is something all sales professionals deal with at some point, whether it comes from a sales prospect or a long-time client. But using the right tactics in your communication can help you prevent this problem and possibly save a deal that seems to be lost.
For tips on maximizing value during the prospecting phase, check out Sales Prospecting 101: A Quick Guide for New Salespeople