An unresponsive client can be a major headache. It can put a sales rep in a tough position; how much is too much when it comes to reaching out? Does their lack of response mean they aren’t happy? These issues can be even more common now as most in-person meetings are on hold, and email and phone calls are the primary means of engaging.
An insightful article from Womply provides some guidance for reps dealing with an unresponsive client. Their tips range from simple outreaches to more complex communications. Below are just a few items from their list of “proven ways” to capture a response.
Unresponsive clients: Don’t just give up
When it comes to trying to get a response from a client who has gone dark, reps have to walk a steady line between urgency and respect. They don’t want to annoy the client, but as a vendor, they should expect a response. First and foremost, Womply suggests that salespeople double check the client’s preferences. They may have forgotten that a certain method of communication is preferred over another ( for example, perhaps, the client knows they lag in response to emails). Before tackling strategies for getting a response, make sure you’re reaching out via a method that they actually use.
Always include a call to action
One reason a client may be unresponsive is because you’ve really not asked anything of them. “In any message that you want or need an answer from your client, make sure that it is clear what you are asking for (or that you are even asking a question),” Womply explains. Take a look back at your correspondence; you may not even realize there is no call to action. For example, instead of writing or saying, “Whenever you approve this we can continue,” consider instead “Can you please approve this article so we can move forward?” Subtle shifts in language can have a big impact on whether the client feels the need to respond.
If you still aren’t sure whether or not your call to action is clear, ask a teammate to read or hear your message before you send it along.
Limit to one ask
When reaching out to an unresponsive client, consider limiting what you are asking for (call to action) to one thing. “When a client receives an overwhelmingly long message because we thought it would be more efficient than sending multiple emails, they may only respond to the first question, or not at all!” Womply explains.
Even if you do have multiple things you’d like addressed, the article suggests to space them out rather than overwhelm the client all at once.
Schedule a meeting
“If you’ve attempted getting a response multiple times and all you have is crickets chirping on the other end, try scheduling a meeting with your client,” Womply advises.
“On the next message you send, don’t even ask them your question, just say that you’d like to schedule a meeting to discuss/review the project.” This tactic includes a very clear call to action. And, a previously unresponsive client will likely find it hard to ignore or overlook a meeting invite. Want to take the invite to another level? Include a date and time for the meeting. This greatly heightens the chance of a response.
An unresponsive client doesn’t mean that the client dislikes you or is unhappy. But, you won’t know what’s going on until you do make a connection. These and the other Womply tips can help reps professionally and thoughtfully navigate this tricky situation.