Sales Phone Calls: Sales Prospect Won’t Return Your Phone Calls
I’m in Sales and I’ve Been Ghosted! Sales Phone Calls Go Unanswered!
In this episode, we review an email we received about being ghosted after sending an sales estimate/proposal. Their phone calls go unanswered. Here’s the email:
I’m in a really frustrating situation. I was referred to a potential client through a mutual professional connection. The client needs creative marketing services (I own a boutique marketing firm). We had lengthy talks regarding their needs, and I pitched them some ideas, some of which required me to travel cross country to their headquarters. We even discussed specific dates for my travel, which are coming up in the next few weeks. I gave them a ballpark price range for all aspects of the project. They didn’t even bat an eye at the price, so I went ahead and emailed them a formal proposal. Since then… nothing. All my sales phone calls go unanswered. They have not reached out to me, let alone sign the contract. Not only do I feel like I spent a great deal of time assessing their needs, but I’m supposed to be traveling for them really soon. I feel like the clock is ticking on that, and I’m really surprised they haven’t given me an official green light. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here stewing not sure how to proceed. Do I make more sales phone calls? What went wrong? What should I do now?
Lane and Rob talk through several points in this email where the sales person could have potentially created clarity and potentially gotten the sale.
Some of the points we talked about were:
- Were they in front of the decision maker?
- Why did you email your proposal over without a discussion? Should you ever do that?
- What were the rules of engagement? Did you agree to a process and a timeline for decision or did you leave it up to them?
- Sharing a ballpark price…when is that a good idea? And how to do it properly.
- At what point should you ask for a decision?
- Hope-ium. Got some? Why this is the deadliest drug on Earth!
- Operating in the areas that you CAN control, not where you can’t control and how to know the difference.
Unanswered Sales Phone Calls
We look forward to more emails from listeners. This is a safe place to ask questions…no matter how you feel about it, wouldn’t you rather talk through questions when the pressure is off than have to be 100% while under pressure? This is the place where we learn from each other’s mistakes and elevate our knowledge and skills. We thank Ghosted for their submission…now do you have one? Submit it to Questions@TheSlowPitch.com.
NOTE: Some links may be affiliate links, which means we get paid a commission when you purchase, but it the cost remains the same for you.
Music: "Clydesdale Funk" by Cast of Characters, written by: Dustin Ransom.
Welcome back, everybody to The Slow Pitch Podcast. And hopefully everybody had a good time since the last episode, selling a whole bunch of stuff. Hey, Lane, how you doing over there?
I’m doing great. Rob, how are you?
I’m doing well, I’m doing well. So what are we? What are we going to talk about today?
Well, probably we we got an email today from a from a listener. Nice. Someone emailed us at questions are The Slow Pitch Sales Podcast. If you don’t mind, maybe I’ll read it. And we can, we can go over this. Let’s do that. Dear Slow Pitch, I’m in a really frustrating situation. I was referred to a potential client through a mutual professional connection. The client needs creative marketing services.
I own a boutique marketing firm, we had lengthy talks regarding their needs, and I pitched them some ideas, some of which required me to travel across the country to their headquarters. We even discuss specific dates for my travel, which are coming up in the next few weeks, I gave them a ballpark price range for all aspects of the project. They didn’t even bat an eye at the price. So I went ahead and email them a formal proposal since then, nothing.
They’ve not reached out to me, let alone sign the contract. Not only do I feel like I spent a great deal of time assessing their needs, but I’m supposed to be traveling for them really soon. I feel like the clock is ticking on that. I’m really surprised they haven’t given me an official green light. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here just doing not knowing how to proceed. What went wrong. What should I do now sincerely ghosted in the Midwest?
Well, that sounds really frustrating on about you, Lane. What do you think?
Yeah, that that drives me insane. Let’s see if we can dig into some of the problems that we ran into here, and then maybe get into some of the solutions of what to do. Well, before you get to this position, what do you think sounds good. Alright, let’s get started.
You’re listening to The Slow Pitch Podcast, a podcast about selling less and closing more.
Alright, everybody, if you’re new here, my name is Rob.
And my name is Lane.
And today we are going to talk through this letter that we got. And I say letter. It’s, you know, digital letter right is more of an email.
No postage stamps.
Nobody wrote us on a physical piece of paper, although that’d be really cool. I mean, who ever does that anymore nowadays? Anyway, I digress. So how do you want to handle this Lane? We just went went through that. How do you want to handle this? What what would be the where to start here?
Well, Rob, you know, I can read through this. And I know you’re going to have a whole lot of suggestions here. Of course, I spent many, many, many too many years in the corporate world.
So I, I know how I would probably have dealt with a client like this. How would you have handled if from the corporate world? How would you have handled that? And it’s okay, if I would do something different?
Well, so I see ghosted, had a lot of conversations with the with the client, and it sounds like ghosted, may have committed to something or getting close to commitments without really having a deal sealed. And I don’t know that I would have gotten that far.
I would have to I guess we could have talked about travel, we could have talked about pricing and all that, and, I’m not booking travel dates, or even committing to travel dates until I have a signed contract.
Yeah. And I don’t know that they booked anything. But I do think if you’ve started to really get that far into it, and then wrote them a proposal and sending that you’ve gotten quite a ways in right. I feel like whoever this is thought I got a deal.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
And to me, you know, to me, that sounds like I had a friend of mine one time tell me that. When I was selling something, he said to me, he goes, it sounds like you’re smoking something. Have you ever had hopium? Hopium is really good.
That’s dangerous stuff.
Yeah, it’s very dangerous stuff. Yeah, it’s up there in the narcotic world. Don’t ever smoke the hopium. That’s what he told me. And I was like, you know, you’re not far off. So it sounds like this person might be smoking a little hopium themselves. Maybe not.
But it’s quite possible. quite possible.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s the worst part of being in sales. Man, I got a lot of hope. I think the last episode we even talked about, you know, I’ve got hope, but you can’t pay your phone bill with hope. And yeah, it’s frustrating, but that’s not the way that works. So I think is there any other areas that you would see in this that you say, Hey, I don’t think this really went the way that it should have gone for them? Why won’t they return my sales phone calls?
Yeah. I Well, I think most of my issues really come around that that time commitment side of things where, you know, yeah, we can we can travel here. We can travel there at certain times. Even the the comment when ghosted says I’m sitting here, stewing, I understand that the frustrated is frustration, especially if you’re on the hopium.
Yep, that you’re sitting there just waiting for that contact to come back. You know, I would probably reach out once, maybe twice and just drop the line of, Hey, I’m still ready to work with you. As soon as we have a signed contract. We can agree on dates at that point in time. But until then, it’s all on the client at that point to come back and actually give you the yes
Yeah, and they’re not even a client yet, right? To me, you’re waiting. And I think if you were to look at this objectively, and ghosted, I don’t mean to offend you. However, if you looked at this objectively, like we are, we don’t know you, we don’t know the story. We don’t know, what’s all the background behind it. That’s part of the sales process.
But based on what we’re seeing here, you know, it sounds like you would possibly think of the potential client as being rude as being a problem as being somebody that doesn’t, you know, give you the respect that they you deserve. And all of that may be true. But my question would be Who do you think’s honestly, who’s at fault here? Whose problem? is this? Really? Is it the client? Or is it ghost?
I think it’s ghost I think ghost and set themselves up for for a letdown. And maybe it is just that that hopium factor. But yeah, I really liked that. That’s, great.
Yeah, it was when he said that to me. I was like, oh, man, that is like, brilliant. I, I think this is one of those situations where, you know, you hear it, you give them credit, right. And he I’m giving him credit. He gave me this. And then I might give him credit one more time. But after that, it becomes mine, I think, right? I don’t know. Maybe not?
Yeah. Possession is nine tenths of the law, right? That’s right.
That’s right possession, nine tenths. So to me back to this, though, I think I look at it and say, it starts in the beginning of your conversation with any potential client, I think you need to have some sort of an agreement that says, hey, we’re going to talk, we’re going to go through all of this information, you know, you’re going to have some questions, I’m going to have some questions, we’re going to kind of work through this a little bit and figure out if this is a good fit or not for us, and see if it’s a good fit for a good fit for you.
Honestly, we don’t know if we are. And I think at the end of that conversation, we have to figure out do we want to work together? Do we not? And I think when we get to the point of deciding on, we need to start to write a proposal or an estimate, then at that point, it’s we know that you are comfortable with working with us, we know that you’re comfortable with the rate that we’re talking about, or the approximate rate that we’re talking about, we know that all the people that are supposed to be involved are involved and have their opinions heard, and that they’ve are going to be able to decide on whether this is a yes or no.
All before I write the estimate, and give it to you. If you’re comfortable with that. We’ll figure all that stuff out. We’ll take it one step at a time. But when we get there, can we make some decisions? When we put that proposal together? Right then in there? Can we do that? Because if you do that, suddenly, they know what what the rules are for the game. Otherwise, you’re going to play the game that they like to play, which is I’ll tell you when I’m ready and may not tell you at all, I’m in fact, I’m gonna ignore your email until I want to decide to give you an email if I do at all.
That’s very frustrating for anybody who’s in sales have been there 1000 times before. So I get that you have to stop allowing that to happen. So that’s one thing is starting outright starting on the right foot. And I also think Lane based on the last conversation in the last episode we had, do you think they were speaking to the decision maker in this conversation?
No, it I tend to think that they weren’t. I’m really curious what is what are the client’s personality type is? I’m sure you don’t have nearly enough information to determine that by but I would be really surprised what their personality type is and where they fit in the organization. Shouldn’t you make a sales phone call to find out?
Yeah, so I think if I was to ask them a question, my first question would be Who are you speaking with? Well, let me ask you like, what do you who you think they were speaking to? Who do you think was either level or a type of person? Not so much the personality side? But role in this? Who do you think they were talking to?
Yeah, I would, I would think it’s probably a mid level manager type of person. Definitely not the the owner.
Yeah, somebody who is collecting the information for the decision maker, it sounds like right, just based on what I’m seeing in their in their email. And I think that’s one of the things to know is if you are talking to somebody who doesn’t have the ability to say yes, and you don’t know it, or you do know it, then you need to do some different different elements to make sure that you can get to where you need to go.
And I think for reference, I think if you haven’t listened to the previous episode, I would listen to that, because that will help you determine by asking the right questions, am I speaking to the right person who can make the decision to say yes, they may be able to say no, but are they the right person to say yes? And if they aren’t the right person to say yes, who should be involved so that they can get involved with that to making a decision to say yes or no, I think that’s one of the other one of the pieces that I think is really important.
One of the things that caught my eye was that really stood out like glaring. In fact, if I were the email, these letters were in red to me, and they were, I went ahead and email them a formal proposal.
I knew that was going to catch your attention.
Yeah, I mean, you must have written that in bold letter, font size 28 in a font size 12 paragraph, you know, to me, that was one of those where I’m like, Wait a second, you’ve sent them a proposal, but we don’t even have confirmation on anything yet. And so I would say never, ever, ever send a proposal to somebody unless you know what the answer is going to be based on all the elements that need to be involved before you can make that decision.
Which means is it even worth their time is worth the reference? Like, for example, you’re a boutique marketing firm, you’ve given them some ideas. My question to you is, why are you giving them ideas before you work for them? Did they pay you for these ideas? Or are you just giving them ideas so that you hope you get the sale. And that’s not a good position to be in. It comes across as being, I wouldn’t say needy, but it comes across as being like you’re trying to get the sale and trying to push them to buy from you.
And instead, I think, if they start pushing you for ideas, my answer would be back. Boy, I would love to give you some ideas. However, the way that we usually work in this is we work through the details of what we want to have in terms of a deliverable, we get to the decision of whether or not we’re going to be the right price, the right agency, whatever that is that you’re looking for, are we gonna be able to work together and then we sign that agreement, we start working there to start coming up and creating new ideas, because it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to start putting the creative ideas together for somebody that we may not even be a right fit.
I mean, would you like it potential client, if while I’m working on your project, I had somebody come along, who said, Hey, same situation, they wanted some ideas, and I started pitching them other ideas that I could be using on yours, I wouldn’t want that happening. If I was in your shoes, I would want to have the best ideas that you have available at the time, instead of just willy nilly pitching all these different ideas to everybody. Because if you’re willing to tell everybody all your ideas, why should I pay you? Right?
That’s why your sales phone calls can go unanswered.
You’re already giving it away for free?
Yeah. And that doesn’t make sense. So never, ever give away your ideas before you’re paid. In a sense. I mean, listen, sometimes you have to give them a little nibble, I get that. But there’s a point of, hey, we’re going to work together, they’re not going to work together. That’s what I need to know, right? And there’s a nicer way to say that there’s a nicer way to get there. But that is one of those elements that you have to make sure you do.
So emailing proposals way overboard, and way too far out there. And if you’re gonna go through all those pieces, and all that work to get a proposal written, I hope you did a lot of other stuff to know that you’re in the right place or not. And so I would say, you know, you talked about a ballpark price range, you gave them a ballpark range, it says, and you said they were okay. And they didn’t bat an eye. How did you know they bad? Didn’t bat an eye?
How did you know that? Just because they didn’t say something? Doesn’t mean they weren’t going oh my god.
Yeah. So let’s try something. Let’s try something. Lane, I need a website. How much is that going to cost? Just give me a ballpark?
Somewhere between you know, 750 and 1250?
Now did I did I mean, I’m good. Does that mean I want to buy? No, I’m like, okay, that’s what I that’s what I heard. But maybe my Okay, in my head is like, okay, that’s way higher than I expected. Or that could be in my head. It could be okay, this seems really low compared to what I paid before my last time I paid $5,000. Yeah, yeah. And why is it so low? So how do you know that they didn’t bat an eye?
Did you ask the question, when you started talking about ballpark ranges? If you were the ones that were you were the one that was bringing it out first? Did you ask them? How does that fit? does that fit with what you were thinking? Or is that way out of the range of what you were thinking? A lot of times when I talk to people, we get into the ballpark range thing? I’ll say, listen, it can range and there’s a couple of options in front of us usually.
So option one could be between 2000 to $5,000. And another option could be around six to $8,000, and then have another option that’s 10 to $15,000, I would guess the 10 to 15 is probably not in the range that you’re looking for. Just based on what we talked about, I don’t think that’s gonna be the need, or what you’re needing. If you had to pick, pick one of those, what’s the range that kind of fits? And they always pick the middle one? I don’t know why. And, and then sometimes they pick the lower one, but very rare. You know, most times it’s the middle one,
they don’t want to sound cheap.
Yes. And and that’s fine. Okay, so the middle one, why why did you pick that? What’s kind of walk me through the decision as to why that would be the range that you were expecting? And where did you come up with that number? Because when you start asking those questions, all of a sudden, you know, they’re legitimately that’s the right number, or they’re saying, Yeah, that’s fine, that’s fine, that’s fine.
But then it’s because it’s too high, they don’t even deal with you anymore. There’s trying to find a way to get off the phone. And you have to narrow that down a little bit. And you’ll know by asking some of those questions, whether or not they’re really serious, or if they’re just working through the steps to try to get you a number and then or better yet, when you give them ballpark range, and you give them three ranges.
I’ve also had this I’ve given them three ranges, and they say, okay, that’s what we thought, Okay, let me get back to you. What? Let me get back to you. Okay, what happened? And they’re like, Yeah, all those are too high. You could just tell, but they didn’t say it. And so it’s like, I just have to, at that point, call it out and say, Boy, it doesn’t sound like any of those were in the range that you were looking for.
And and, you know, at this point, I think I should probably just assume that you were not going to do business together, and that’s okay. I don’t mind one way or the other. They’ll either say, Nope, that’s true. We’re not gonna work together. And that’s okay. Or they’ll say, you know, No, that’s not it at all. I just, I can’t I can’t talk anymore. For right now. There’s something that’s happening and I have to go, Oh, that’s a little bit different. But that doesn’t happen very often. It’s usually no you’re right. That that’s not range that I’m looking for.
Do you have a question about sales call or text your question at 608-708-SLOW, that’s 608-708-7569 or you can email them to questions at TheSlowPitch.com. Now, back to the show.
Rob, another thing I noticed, was ghosted, talked about travel. You know, I’m curious when they talk about travel, you know, it sounds like that they kind of discussed dates, but travel can get really expensive that the closer you book, so, you know, I’m curious if they if they covered that the cost of that travel within their proposal, did they discuss how that was going to be handled? Who was paying for it when they were going to book?
Yeah, to me? I mean, that’s a good, good point. I mean, I feel like if I booked a flight tomorrow, or versus three months from now, I mean, in the in the email, it says, We even discuss specific dates for my travel, which are coming up in the next few weeks. Now, if you’re if you’ve got a whole bunch of stuff you’ve got to do to play on this in two or three weeks. The prices are going to be significant, right?
Yeah. Yeah, you need to buy those tickets. Three weeks out to get the best price at least
Yeah, yeah, at least that so I don’t. Here’s the other thing that I’ve always noticed. I don’t know why this is. But when I I deal with somebody on the phone, and they’re talking to me and tell me we need this right away, we need to make we’re gonna decide really fast. And there’s got to get started. And we got to have this date. This is data dropped out. They just gotta be done.
Have you ever had that where they’re like, I need this really fast? Yeah. Have you ever asked them the question in which ghosted, should ask the same question is why that date? Can you help me understand what’s going on that date? I mean, what happens if it’s three weeks later? What happens if it’s if it’s month, two months later? And what happens? If it’s sooner? What happens then?
Do you know that if I’ve asked that question, 99.558735% of the time, which is, you know, no made up number, but but most of the time they answer with Oh, no, it’s just we that’s when we want to have it done by it’s not, we are launching something, and it has to be fully infected. And this has to be live. And everything has to be in place. No, very rarely, every once in a while, that does come up. And I’ve had it where they say we’re going to have this event on this particular date.
This needs to be okay, fine, that’s understand that, but they usually book those far enough out in advance to get that stuff done in time versus Yeah, Hey, I just need this done by this date. So ask the question, why that date? Why is it coming up in the next few weeks? What’s the problem with two months from now? What why, what happens then? Is it I mean, that tells me that ghosted, really didn’t get into the pain side of things, either, because, right, how much is this costing that company or causing them problems? Or what are they dealing with by not doing this? And if they’ve got no reason to buy, they’re giving you a false deadline? It’s a it’s a red herring. It’s a it’s a it’s a garbage thing.
It’s just a goal or a target? It’s not actual real commitment. Yeah,
yeah. And the other thing I noticed in the email that says, not only do I feel like I spent a great time assessing their needs. So I think about if you’ve spent a great time assessing their needs without being paid, I go back to the pitching, same idea, same thing, why are you wasting your time or spending your time spending any energy on something that you’re not being paid for? It’s not time yet.
You don’t need to do that. I have a dog that every day at 5:30 is asking for food. He’s like, whimpering whining. 5:30 (wimpering noise) wants something. And I know what he wants. If it’s quarter after five, and he starts the starts that on me, I have to I look at him.
He learns the phrase, I look at him and I say “It’s not time yet.” And he knows, okay, and he goes and lays down. It’s very weird. He literally goes and lays down. It’s not time yet. And the same thing here. When that when you’re out there working before you’re paid. Sorry, but it’s not time yet. You should not be working yet.
That’s some sage advice
I don’t know about sage, but it’s it’s certainly something that I’ve noticed and learned from my dog. Let’s put it that way. Yes, I’ve learned from my dog, but since I’ve learned from my dog. So the other question I would ask is, when did you ask for a decision from them? So when did they commit to getting back with you? Besides the fact that this person is not the decision maker, and that you haven’t asked for the decision maker to be in front of you?
Besides that fact? Let’s say they said you’re never going to talk to the decision maker personally, when did you get a commitment from them that they’re gonna have a decision a yes or a no by this day, because that’s the worst case scenario. Best case scenario would be when you kind of went through the proposal with them on zoom or on on the phone or in person, whichever that may be. So you’ve gone through, here’s all the things we talked about.
Here’s the problems we’re fixing. Here’s the issues. Here’s the potential cost that it could cost by not doing this, you putting it all in there, like here’s all the stuff that’s going to cause you problems by not doing these in an in a format that’s positive, but you’re in a good good position. And here’s the end vestment that’s going to take to get that, fix that solve whatever that might be.
That’s where you go through that whole proposal presentation, if you will. And at the end of that, you should have a decision, you should be able to say, so are we, where are we at here? What do you want to do? Now? You want to close this out, say, Nope? Or do you want to say, hey, let’s let’s, let’s move forward? what’s what’s gonna happen next? And, you know, they’ll tell you, if that’s a no, trust me.
They’ll tell you. If they don’t tell you. No. And they say, Well, I want to think about it. You got another issue, right? Like, how do you deal with? I don’t I want to think about it. Have you ever had that Lane?
Yeah. I don’t know that. I have a good way of dealing with that. So I know how it makes me feel when you get that I got to think about it.
And what goes on in your head when you hear I think about it.
It’s it’s, oh, gosh, what did I do wrong? What did I say wrong? What did I guess wrong? What did I price wrong? What did I do wrong? Have you ever asked those questions? No. And that’s that’s, you know that that’s very fair, I guess I probably should ask those questions. It wouldn’t hurt.
The other thing. If I go back to the very beginning of your conversation, let’s say if you when you had that, think about how you started out, hey, when we go through all this conversation, at some point, we’re going to go through a proposal if it if it makes sense. We may never get there. But if we do, and we get to this, the investment portion, we talked about all the things we’re going to deliver, and it doesn’t fit. He comfortable telling me No. If you can’t tell me no, then I should know that now.
Because I don’t want to get there and you feel like you can’t say no to me. Yeah, yeah. Because I don’t want that. And if you can say No, okay, can you tell me Yes, that too, because it kind of goes hand in hand. And then that way, you won’t have that. Because when you get to that point, and you’re going through the proposal, or the estimate, or presentation or whatever you want to call it?
And they say, well, it’s a maybe you can say, Well remember back in the beginning, when we first started, and I we talked about this is that point of a lot of times what you could do is just before you start your presentation, you say, Alright, we’re at that point, we’re in the beginning, when we talked about it’s either kind of a yes or no, that’s kind of where we are. And this is the point in time where we’re gonna have to make some decisions.
So let’s go through what we’ve got. Let’s see what we come up with super decisions. They know exactly what’s expected. It’s very difficult to not give you an answer when you’ve laid that groundwork enough ahead of time. It’s incredible how well that works. Probably, typically more in your favor, because they don’t want to give you that no. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, listen, if it’s a no, already, you’ll get that when you start talking about the pricing. If you start talking about the dollars in the ranges, that’s when you hear the no and you have to pay attention to it.
Versus at the proposal part. If you get to know when you’re writing a proposal. You missed it before you missed it, you you were not hearing it, you were smoking right, right now. So that’s the thing that to keep in mind. And really, this all of this, all of these things that we just talked through, to me goes back to what can you control in this scenario, you could control a lot of elements that would prevent you from getting into this position.
You could control your initial conversation and what the expectations are, you can control what’s your ballpark price is and how that’s going to come across? And how are you going to get that information out of them? You can control if you’re in front of the decision maker or not to a degree. And if you can’t get to that piece, what are you going to do next? But all the way through this, you have all the control unless you give it away and you don’t allow it to happen.
Okay, Rob? Well, let’s take a quick break. And when we come back, we’ll answer ghost ads. Final question of what should I do now?
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All right, Rob, we’re back. Why don’t you help ghosted here? And and tell them what they should do now?
Yeah, that’s a good question. I thought you would answer that. All right, maybe not. All right. So here’s the thing when you when you are in this position, you missed, honestly, and I don’t mean to say anything to make you feel bad. But you missed, obviously some valid points that you need to hit along the way to make sure that they’re, they’re in place before you can proceed and so on.
But you’re here now, and really, the key is, is how do I fix this? And how do I how do we recover? Right? So I think the best, the best thing I would suggest would be I think you need to reach out to them directly. I don’t I wouldn’t email, don’t email, don’t text, don’t anything. I would call and I would leave a message if they don’t answer. But I would leave a very quick and simple message which would be Hey, so and so whoever it is, I’m just trying to reach you.
I have a quick question for you. I need to wrap something up. Can you give me a call back when you have a second? That’s it. If they don’t call back from that, then I would call back and I would leave the message. That’s going to be something along the lines of it sounds to me, like there’s no interest in proceeding with our proposal with our conversation with all the stuff that we talked about.
And so I’ve released plane tickets, I’ve released the things that I needed to set up to make sure that I was ready to do that. If I’m wrong, please give me a shout back. I’m just gonna assume that nothing’s happening at this point. But certainly feel free to reach out either way. But if I’m correct, I really appreciate your time. I leave it at that. Usually, you’ll get a response from somebody, if they’re really serious about buying if they were really wanting to buy from you and you call them left a voicemail that basically said, Hey, I don’t think we’re working together.
I’m releasing the plane tickets. I’m doing this, I’m doing that I’m basically shutting you down. They almost always will call you back and say, No, no, no, don’t do that yet. We’re still deciding we’re still okay. Now you’ve opened the conversation back up again. So you can recover from that point.
So remember that point there. The other thing is, if the answer their phone, then you’re kind of in that same point. Now you have some questions you need to ask, right. So now you say okay, I really appreciate you calling me back or I really appreciate you answering the phone. I have a I have a couple questions for you. If you have a few minutes.
All right. Well, first of all, I want to apologize, I made a terrible mistake.
Well, I mean, I, I made I made a terrible mistake in some of the stuff that I do to make sure that I put all this stuff together for you in our conversation about what we were going to be providing for you. Do you want to talk about that real quick? Yeah, what?
What was your what was the mistake?
Well, yeah, I feel like it’s a big deal. Like To me, it’s a really big deal. Okay, alright, so now, what do you think I’m going to tell you you think it’s gonna be?
Oh, you thought I think you can tell you just you hosed everything up. And, and you know, everything you everything. The whole things is garbage?
Yeah, everything’s wrong. We’re starting from square one. I could be you know, I could be I could have gotten your, your, your when your kids pregnant. I mean, it could be something really major, right? It’s like, what is happening
From across the country? That might be it’s kind of tough.
Okay, fair enough. But it’s one of those scenarios where you’re setting up this situation where you’re like, this sounds really bad. I, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. And so they’re now all ears, right?
Yep. You got their attention.
Yep. Now, here we go. Alright, so let me kind of share with you some of the things that I think I messed up. One of the things that I messed up with was, it feels to me like there’s some other folks that are involved in this decision making, because I know you based on our conversation, probably could have easily made a decision and say, hey, let’s go. I’m guessing some other people involved. That’s all right.
Yeah, yeah, I got a boss I got to talk to.
Yeah. So based on that, you know, what were some of the questions that came up. So now you’ve got them telling you the questions that came up in their conversation. Right? Right. Yeah. Now we know that this person is the interim person, the person in between, if you’re going to try to sell still, what you need to do is help them sell you.
Because it’s too late to get in front of that boss, you could ask, but the likelihood of you now being able to interject yourself in front of the boss is gonna be difficult, because they’ve had all these conversations and everything else, and they might be talking to the other people.
So I think your question then becomes, if if, if you’ve already had that conversation with a boss, what questions came up, they give you a question or two, then you can start to deal with that. If they came back to you and said, Hey, here’s one of the questions that came up. When we talked about their price, does that include this, this? And this? And your answer is not yes or no. What should your answer be?
You’re gonna fall back on those ranges. Again, you get what the options are, aren’t you?
Maybe. I would say if they said those are the things and what gets delivered? I would answer the question with another question, which is, what were your expectations of what was being delivered? Because when we wrote the estimate, or the proposal, it’s already in there, there, you know, it’s not clear that I need to know what they’re thinking is what they’re thinking, accurate or not accurate.
So I’m gonna ask them, What were your expectations? Well, we thought we’d get X, Y, Z and some of A, B and C. All right, well, that’s good to know. So what if I told you that a, b and c are not included in that range? And a, b, and c are actually in the other range that we talked about before there was the higher range? What happens that? Oh, there we’re not going to buy Okay. Now, you know, probably not gonna get help. But you just found out didn’t take long.
If you know, you’re up against two other companies to other estimates, right. It’s you and two others. Here’s another question. You can Ask you can ask the question of this person that you’re working with, let’s assume that I’m not one of the three. I mean, what if I took my estimate out? And you had to take the other? Look at the other two?
You must you must have a favorite at least have one of those two, do you have a favorite one of those two? So let’s assume that they say yes. And when they say yes, we have a favorite actually have one of those two? Interesting. Can you tell me a little bit more?
Like, what do you like about that? What’s the thing that you go? This is the thing that I really like about that company? And again, I’m not in the race. Let’s just assume now because I don’t, I don’t even know that I can fit into this based on our conversation so far, but maybe I can.
What would you tell me is their strongest piece? And and if they tell you, hey, they’re really good. This is this, your job is not to go? Well. So can I, that’s not your job, your job is to go? Do I match that? Or have I shown or demonstrated that? Right?
If I haven’t been able to demonstrate that? Well, you’re probably in trouble. You’re not going to make a sale? Yeah, but if you already demonstrated then, okay, so at some point, you might even circle back to Alright, so now let’s say I’m back in the ring there. in your conversations, how do we compare to the other folks that we compare positively negatively? How did we do? And if they say, actually, you’re one of them?
You know, I’ve had it where they say, actually, you’re one of the leaders, I we think we we’d like to work with you more sort of more, most of all of them. But there’s one little piece of which was trying to get an answer from this other company. And that’s usually when they go, Okay, I know, I’m in pretty good shape.
But sometimes they don’t tell me that they just say, Yeah, I don’t know, you know, is it can we give me a straight answer? And I know, all right, things are probably not going my way. At which point I can easily say, all right, maybe it just makes sense for me to just since you already have some good options out there.
Let me just withdraw my my proposal. I’ll take you back. And it’s no harm no foul. Is that okay? Yeah. Do you know how many times people freak out when you do that? They do not like you to take their estimate back.
Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Yeah. So it’s not that I’m gonna get the job. But there might be a need for them to have that. They can also say fine, I don’t care doesn’t matter, because we got yours already. Exactly. Doesn’t matter. You can rip it out of my email.
Yeah, yeah, I’m just looking for somebody to tell me whether or not I’m even in the running. But you have to find out if you have the ability to get back in front of the person you talk to, and even more importantly, in front of the decision maker, because if you can do that, then you’re back in the running and you can actually open up more conversations and fix the things that you did wrong before.
So don’t be afraid of calling them back and saying what I said earlier, which is I made a huge mistake. I mess up something really bad. Can we talk about a really quick? I’m so sorry, I feel really bad. Because then they’ll listen and they’ll take it serious because you take it serious? Because you’re being serious. You want to make sure this is fixed for them. Does that answer the What should I do now question?
I think it does. Personally…hopefully ghosted feels the same and it obviously hopefully goes to doesn’t feel bad about this conversation. And our intention wasn’t to beat up on ghosted, it it’s we we honestly want to help ghost to them and everyone else out there. So we really do appreciate that the question and we would encourage you to call or text your comments, to 608-708-SLOW that’s 608-708-7569 or email us at Questions@TheSlowPitch.com.
Yeah. And remember, like when you send that stuff in, this is a safe place. This is this is where we can all learn from everybody’s mistakes, because what better place to make a mistake than when you’re thinking about it rather than actually in person. So I congratulate ghosted for actually having the mistake, having the guts to bring it up. I appreciate it. So, until next time, we will see you guys later. See you later.
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