How to re-engage sales prospects who’ve stopped responding

April 14, 2022

If you work in sales, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced what I’m about to describe. 

You have an introductory meeting with a prospect. You’re on your A-game and delivering a total banger of a presentation – everyone loves it, there’s fireworks, confetti. Your prospect seems excited and so as you near the end of the pitch, you naturally ask them about the next steps. Then they respond with one of the worst sentences you can hear as a sales professional:

“Send me the PDF and I’ll forward it to my boss.”

Oof. That sentence might be the beginning of the end for a deal, since now it’s out of your hands. There’s no guarantee anyone else will see the most critical information from your presentation, much less a fraction of its enthusiasm and detail. It’s not surprising if the conversation goes cold.

Luckily, there are things you can do to improve your chances in this scenario – and to pre-empt it altogether. Whether you’re closing or just starting with outreach, it’s important to understand why engaged prospects can become unresponsive prospects. Even more important is understanding what to do about it. 

So let’s take a look at how to manage unresponsive prospects in a frequently digital-first landscape.

Replicate the best of in-person interaction when following up

Face-to-face interaction is still ideal for most sales reps, but remote work has made it harder to secure. Increasingly distributed teams and flexible working are likely here to stay, so your virtual selling game is more important than ever. 

Of course, virtual selling can never fully replace in-person connection – that’s not our goal. Instead, the goal is to digitally replicate some of the best parts of in-person connection, drawing on your face-to-face conversations and improving the likelihood of future face time.

This means personalising messages according to your prospect, as well as humanising your pitch. It’s easy to delete a sales email from someone we’ve never met – it’s harder to ignore a video message from a familiar face we met at a conference, one that calls back to earlier conversations and makes it clear that the recipient is regarded as an individual.

Video plays a big role here, particularly in the scenario I mentioned earlier. You can’t control when or how your prospect relays information to their manager, but you can control whether their manager eventually receives a static PDF or a video that puts a face to a name and captures the energy of your pitch. It also gives you a more personal way to follow up with your prospect, rather than sending a standard email follow-up that’s liable to get lost in their inbox.

In a virtual or hybrid situation, video is the next best thing to actual face time. Our own data shows that using the right video selling tool can result in: 

  • Four times higher response rates compared to cold calls and cold emails
  • Six times as many meeting bookings compared to cold calls and cold emails

Find ways to stand out, not burn out

This still leaves the issue of digital fatigue – not to mention your own professional fatigue, since trying to stand out online is getting harder and harder. Just ask the influencers who feel pressured to constantly one-up their own content, or the marketing and sales professionals who invent bizarre email subject lines in a bid to grab attention (no judgment, we’ve all done it). 

When re-engaing prospects who’ve stopped responding, replicating elements of in-person connection is helpful. Video can certainly do that, but you may already be using video in your virtual selling – if so, you’re probably familiar with two problems:

  1. Not all videos are created equal, and 
  2. you don’t have an infinite supply of time. 

To up your virtual selling game, the occasional video message might not be enough. They need to stand out – in a good way, not in a so-bad-it-goes-viral way – and your prospect needs to feel special. Look for opportunities to personalise engagement, like sales material or landing pages that carry your prospect’s branding and logo. 

That may sound good in theory, but you can’t spend all your time on a single prospect. Polished video messages and prospect-specific personalisation might sound too manual to scale, but the right platform and digital tools make them easier than you might think. For instance, Shootsta Elevate doesn’t just help sales professionals broadcast a message – it helps them broadcast messages in personalised, high-quality ways, whether they’re being supported by AI or a team of specialists.

The right video solution should combine the best of technology and human support, using features like batch uploads or automated cutaways to elevate every step of the selling process – without costing too much time or energy.

Consider communication across the entire selling process

When it comes to unresponsive prospects or leads, prevention is better than cure.

That means supporting sales reps with better tools and acceleration strategies throughout each stage of the process. In other words, your virtual selling tools need to play more than one role. If a platform only allows you to record or broadcast messages, what other selling needs could it be addressing? 

For example, sales reps can use Shootsta to do anything from batch-creating personalised video messages to assembling sales enablement material to training new starters. Sales teams have to find more efficient, effective ways to communicate with prospects, but communication within the team itself matters too. 

A multi-purpose platform, backed by cutting-edge features and a supportive team of specialists, can empower sales reps throughout the entire selling process. It equips them with the right tactics when a prospect stops responding, but it also helps them reach a greater number of prospects and lower the risk that they’ll go cold in the first place.

Do you have what you need to succeed in the new world of sales?

There will always be reasons why prospects stop responding – not least of which is that sometimes a lead isn’t actually qualified or that they’re simply never going to buy. And if I had a perfect answer for why prospects go cold, I’d probably be the world’s richest man. Still, the success we’ve seen with video selling proves that there are evidence-backed ways to re-engage your prospects and minimise the risk of drop-off. 

Digital fatigue and barriers to in-person meetings have changed the sales landscape. Make sure your team has the tools and support they need to keep the conversation going.

Want more virtual selling tips and expert insights? Subscribe to the Shootsta newsletter below or reach out to the team.

Author: Cesar Cabrera, Sales Director North America, Shootsta


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