If you love someone set them free…you know the old adage. I’ve found that works in prospecting too. Not that I love my prospects, but when I set them free I’ve found that they often come back.
At Rally we call it the “walk-away” email, and it was a tactic encouraged by our friends at Sandler Sales Training. No one wants to be pestered by an over-eager salesman. So why not let them know you’re not going to pester them, and that you’ll gladly stop communicating on such a regular basis if they’re truly not interested. Seems kind of honest to me. If someone isn’t responded, I have no choice but to assume that they aren’t interested. So I’ll let them go, and focus my efforts on people who are engaged with me, or try to find someone who wants to be.
Here’s how it works:
I have (what I thought was) a positive conversation with a prospect. Maybe I even sent them a proposal. I wait a short period for them to digest it all. I call back. Silence. I email. Crickets. I call. Nada.
I send something like this:
Jim, we haven’t reconnected about the proposal I sent. Clearly, you’re distracted by other things and this isn’t the right time for you to work with us. I’ll just put you on our email list, and wait until the time is right for us to do business together.
Then the prospect thinks:
You’re willing to let me go? Wait…then maybe what he has to offer really is good if he’s willing to not sell it to me.
Oh no, was I rude? I really have been meaning to call him back.
Yes, I had to fire several sales people and restructure the team. I’m ready now.
Then the prospect calls me, and apologizes to me.
Then those who really don’t want to do business don’t respond. Which is fine with me. I take them off my calendar and put them out of my mind, and focus on the prospect that just called back.
Walk away. It’s really cool. You should try it.