Prospect Gone Cold? Here's What to Do

BY Jessica Helinski
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Promising prospects can suddenly go silent despite your best efforts. So, what can you do to effectively rekindle communication? RAIN Group President Mike Schultz recently wrote an insightful article that discusses this topic.

First, he points out that sellers should try to understand why the prospect went cold. He lists a few possible reasons: A job change, internal resistance, lack of a value proposition, etc. Or, the prospect could just be busy! “It's important to know the possible reasons buyers go cold because, depending on the reason, one strategy or another is going to work better,” Schultz explains. “You should make at least a few attempts to connect with a missing-​person buyer before you give up.”

He goes on to share five strategies to try when a contact has gone cold. Below is just one example:

Three flurries then out.

This strategy includes what Schultz calls “flurries,” or rounds of outreach. Buyers often expect sellers to always keep up the chase, despite bouts of inaction or silence. This shouldn’t be the case. Instead, once the buyer goes cold, it’s time for three flurries. An email, a phone call, a LinkedIn message, and any other kind of outreach, bundled together, constitute one flurry. And, with each flurry, you should leave at least one voicemail. “In the first two flurries you should try to resonate both rationally and emotionally,” he explains. “The communications need to stir emotions like hope, desire, or fear, or you won't get a response.” If you still haven’t heard back after the second flurry, the third should let the prospect know that you won’t be reaching out again. He points out that often, this third outreach is what finally elicits a response.

This is just one strategy Schultz suggests trying. As you go along, you’ll also need to decide if the prospect is worth reengaging or disengaging. While closing the deal would be great, you don’t want a clogged pipeline or a prospect who isn’t really qualified or committed.