David Searns | Co-CEO
I love it when readers ask me questions!
Makes finding a topic WAY easier! THANK YOU! 😊
For this week's SMART IDEA, here's a question I received last week:
David, I have noticed that nowadays when you go to networking events people say join on LinkedIn, and when you send them the request they don't.
Also, when I am in a social setting and talking to companies at events they say to follow up with emails and phone calls which they have provided, but when you try to call and follow up, they don't reply even after sending 3-4 follow-up emails.
How do you tackle that type of a situation…any thoughts? Suggestions?
Great question…and a very common challenge!
It happens all the time…
You meet someone, have a great conversation, they ask you to reach out, then…silence.
You've been ghosted!
So, what can you do?
While there is no silver bullet that works in all situations, there are many strategies to try:
Make your emails more compelling. Here are a few ideas:
- Include "MUST READ" educational content – something that would be a conversation starter.
- Talk about relevant industry news – again as a conversation starter.
- Offer something of value (e.g., "Jane, we just had great success with a company very similar to yours that dramatically cut their no-call / no-show rates. Let me know when you're free, and I'll tell you what we did.")
Give people a specific reason to call. For example:
- "Jane, when we last spoke, you mentioned a problem with turnover. I have three ideas for you that could make a real impact (all things you can do for free). Give me a call, and I'll be happy to share."
- "Jane, you told me that you are having a really hard time hiring (job skill). Good news! We just interviewed several A+ candidates. None of these people will be on the market for more than a week or two. Let me know if you'd like to see the resumes."
Add bits of relevancy:
- Include the time you last spoke to your contact as a starting point. For example, maybe it was after a networking event, or your last meeting, or even that it's been XX number of months. Relevancy is great to use as your door.
- Send them a relevant article without sending them the article. Use "FWD:" to start your subject line and tell them you were sending this to a client but thought you would be interested.
- Add a "RE:" write to your newest email and suggest they may have missed one.
- Send them an email the same day of the week or month and use that in your discussions. Maybe it's the "Case of the Mondays" or "Tackle Tuesdays," but let them know why today is the day to read.
Make it easier to respond:
- Include multiple options for the next steps in your message, and let the person click reply and "X" their response.
- Include a Calendly or Bookings link.
- Let the person know when you'll be in their area…and tell them you'll stop by.
- One of my personal favorites – the letter from camp (a very silly fill-in-the-blanks form that we would send to prospects that went cold. If you'd like to see a sample, email me – forewarning, it's a really old document!).
Have some fun with your messages.
- Make light jokes about the lack of response, for example:
- Hi Jane, I'm extremely worried. I heard pirates were in the area, and when I didn't hear back after our meeting, I was afraid you had been taken captive.
- Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I just wanted a call from you!
- Share a joke or meme relevant to the situation and the prospect.
- The trick with humor and lighthearted messages is to ensure you are not being offensive! And make your jokes better than mine!
Use multiple forms of outreach in combination.
- Text messages
- This often works best when you use one channel and then quickly reach out via a 2nd one.
Of course, guilt can be effective too. For example:
- "Hi Jane, last time we spoke, you told me you wanted to meet about "X," and no matter how hard I have tried to follow up, I haven't heard back. Are you okay? Please give me a call when you have a chance."
- "Jane, was it something I said? I feel like I did something wrong. We had a great conversation last week, but now, I cannot connect with you. I'm sorry if I did something to offend you."
- "Am I being a pest? I know you asked me to reach out, but I don't want to be "that person" – the one who annoys you by being too persistent. Let me know if I can be of service."
So, what's your best strategy to deal with getting ghosted?
I'd love to know what works for you!
And if you have questions I can answer for an upcoming issue of SMART IDEAS Weekly, just ask!