Anyone in business development or sales has probably had someone go cold on them. Everything seems to be going well than the person on the other side stops responding to your emails or calls.
Why This Happens
Each situation is unique, but I think it all comes back to the same underlying reason: people avoid confrontation. They don’t want to deal with the pressure of saying no or being sold, especially when they’re not buying.
Saying no or even not right now is harder than saying yes or not responding at all. It’s just easier to ignore someone than to tell them that their offering isn’t a priority right now.
Preventing Radio Silence
As a BD/sales person, I love when people are transparent with me. …
“Before we hop on a call, mind sending over a deck or one-pager my team can review”
I get this all the time. Target partners and customers often want collateral on your offering prior to taking a meeting with you. It’s a filtering mechanism they use to spend their time efficiently.
I avoid sending material prior to a first meeting at all costs. Here’s why:
The person on the other side is going to look at what you send them and immediately draw conclusions about what your company does. From here they’ll quickly determine whether they’re interested in taking that meeting. If they are, awesome…proceed as usual. But if they’re not, odds are you’ve lost the deal and this person will magically become …
The first thing a Dr. says when you step into his office usually goes a little something like this:
“So tell me what’s a matter?”
Only after you answer this question can the Dr. treat you.
But what if he didn’t ask this question? Say you injured your ankle playing hoops. After three days of trying to tough it out, you head to Dr.’s office for treatment. When you finally get a chance to see the doc, he just starts putting your arm in a sling?…he tries to fix a problem you don’t have.
Business development and sales people make this same mistake all the time. I know I have.
You finally get that meeting. All you want to do is tell them how awesome …
Your pitch goes perfect, the guy on the other side is fired up…this one is in the bag!
But what unfolds is different than what you expected. Your emails go unreturned. Your calls are ignored. You’re left scratching your noggin at the radio silence.
This ever happen to you? It has to me plenty and in retrospect it could have been potentially avoided.
Usually you start by pitching one person. What I’ve come to realize is that even when this person is the decision maker they still might need to get buy-in from multiple people. This could be the rest of their team, an adjacent department, or even the CEO. It’s great to make this person you’re champion, but that doesn’t mean you …