When Sales Prospects Won't Take Your Calls
When sales prospects stop taking your calls, it's never a good sign. It means
one of three things:
- Your prospect cannot get any budget money.
- Your prospect is too busy with higher priority projects.
- They are working on this project with a competitor.
You said that this is a very important sales prospect for you. I assume that
your print management and print tracking software are high ticket items for
which there are a limited number of companies in your territory who can afford
them. If this is true, then you should pursue it further. If on the other
hand you have many sales prospects in your territory, then you should probably
If you choose to pursue, you need to get to someone who can make something
happen. I recommend that you get your management to go over your contact's
head to the executive who would be most impacted by this decision.
Salespeople often get nervous about going over someone's head. We think of
this as a high-risk maneuver. The risk of going over someone's head at this
point is actually lower than continuing what you are doing. Right now, the
prospect is not treating you as a partner - he is treating you as a salesperson
that he can dump on.
By going over his head, you can speed up getting to either a yes or no. Continuing
to leave voicemails is only going to drag out what will then probably be a
Call your contact first and let him know that a call will be coming in. Leave
a voicemail and say something like this: "The President of my company wants
to speak to all of our best new prospective customers. He'll be calling your
VP on Wednesday. I thought that you would like to know before he calls. Please
This move alone may get you a call-back from your contact. If so, tell him
that your President wants to speak to their VP because he knows that you can
save their company money. Tell your contact that your President will be calling,
unless you two can come up with a reason why he shouldn't at this time.
This call and your President's subsequent call should shake things up and
either get the deal moving forward or off your forecast altogether.
Look at this way. If your sales prospects cannot get any budget money or
are too busy with higher priority projects, then going to an executive gives
your management the opportunity to make your case. If they are working with
a competitor, then your management can position why the prospect should look
at you also. If neither you nor your management can get through or get callbacks,
then it's a pretty clear sign that they aren't going to do business with you.