📄 Two Questions You Can Ask When a Buyer Ghosts You

It’s one of the most annoying parts of being in business:

You engage with a prospect, you have a great conversation, they really like what you do, and then:

“Cool, let me think about it. I’ll get back to you.”

And then they don’t.

You send a followup email, and get no reply.

But why?

They need your work. They said they wanted it, they have the budget, you’re right for each other... and yet they don't proceed to purchase - what gives?

Several things to consider:

For one thing: Everybody always has a reason for what they do, or don’t do.

In the other person’s world, their not following through on what looked like a perfectly ready sale, makes perfect sense.

So with Rule Number 6 in mind - don’t take yourself so seriously - make sure you don’t fall in the trap of making it about yourself, or getting annoyed, or blaming them for their foolishness or laziness or whatever.

There’s a million things that can happen in life, that prevent a person from proceeding to buy - or from proceeding on any plan made, for that matter.

So keep your cool, keep an open mind, and make it about them. They have their reasons, and whatever you think is about you, not about them. And a sale will only happen when it's about them.

Next, ask yourself:

Were you actually talking to the right buyer?

Did it only look like a good fit, or was it actually a good fit?

Because we all have confirmation bias, and we all want to believe that when they say yes, it actually means yes.

But did it?

Or were they just not comfortable enough to say no?

Truth is, the majority of sales conversations should never take place to begin with.

You need to select your potential clients with extreme prejudice.

That’s one way to reduce the number of people ghosting you: be more specific in who you do, and don’t, engage with.

Finally, what can you actually do, when you get ghosted?

First, here’s what not to do:

Don’t write to say ‘Just following up’ or ‘Checking in’.

Salespeople do that, and what do people do with salespeople (or people who act like one)? They ignore them. 

Instead, here’s two things you can do that actually might work.

The first one, I learned from Dean Jackson, of the ILoveMarketing podcast:

The 9-word email.

Send an email with the recipient's first name in the subject, and a super-short question in the body:

“Are you still looking to {obtain outcome XYZ}?”

For example, I might write:

“Are you still looking to turn more conversations into sales?"

That’s it. Sign your name, hit send.

Or, you could use a method I learned from Chris Voss of Never Split the Difference, where you ask your buyer to tell you 'no'. 

“Have you given up on increasing your conversion rates?”

Both of these are designed not to get the contract, but to restart the conversation.

Because that’s the biggest mistake we make, when we try to bring a ghost-buyer back to life:

We try to close the deal, get the contract, sign the client.

But precisely because something happened in their world that caused them to go radio-silent, your pushing through on that is going to turn them further away.

Instead, what you want to do, is ask a question that leads to a dialogue.

And very often, very soon, you’ll learn that there was something missing, or not right, or not ready, in their world.

And since you've restarted the conversation, you can address that matter, which means they’ll feel taken care of, and that will enable them to re-think and enroll themselves.

That’s how you deal with a buyer-turned-ghost.

Tired of hagglers, stalled deals, and getting ghosted?

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