Today I wanted to chat about something that no matter how long you’ve been doing this, stings as a business owner. Being ghosted. And most importantly, how to stop being ghosted but also how to handle it when you are.
Simply put – it’s when one of your leads falls off the face of the earth (usually after you send a proposal) and you never hear from them again.
So why does ghosting happen? Well 99% of the time it’s when the client realizes you’re not a good fit or your proposal doesn’t align with their budget and they’ve moved on and don’t really feel the need to follow up with you to let you know.
Ghosting just stinks, no matter what year you are in your business. You feel invested in each of your leads that you’ve taken the time chatting with or putting a proposal together for and it’s hard to not take it personally when you send a proposal and you get crickets.
I truly believe that if you work hard to qualify your leads through what you list on your website, your inquiry form, etc your ghosting will start dwindling down because you’ll only be attracting ideal clients.
Because when you start working with qualified leads, they already have an idea of what to expect from you, so when you send them a custom proposal, they’re usually prepared for it.
But, no matter how much you qualify your leads, chances of you having a 100% booking rate are still slim to none, and that is ok! There will be those that will slip through the cracks for one reason or another. It happens to the best of us, even when you thought for sure you had the booking in the bag.
I recommend that as you are working through this process that you find what works best for you and your business and your leads. Think of it as A/B testing (aka trial and error) to see what works (books).
Maybe you make it a point to have a full conversation (phone/video/consult, etc) with each client before you will put together a proposal, this can help warm the client up to you and put a face/voice with your business. Or maybe you have an in-depth lead capture form that gives you all the information you need to put together a proposal without a consultation.
Try different ways to see what resonates with your leads and which methods yield better results for you.
While I hope that you don’t get ghosted, I do think it will be much less if you start some of these practices. But what are some steps you can take when you send a proposal to a client and can’t get a response out of them?
I recommend following up 2-3 times via email with them over the span of 2-3 weeks. Usually, the first email is just a follow-up, making sure they received the proposal and asking if they have any questions or if they want to hop on a quick call to discuss anything.
The next email is usually about the time the proposal is set to expire (most are valid for 14 days generally), this can create a sense of urgency for them. I usually ask if they would like me to extend the proposal for 14 more days if they’re still reviewing it. I basically am making sure that I am wording these emails in such a way that prompts them to respond to me.
The last email is basically a closeout email. I let them know that I will be archiving their proposal and I understand if they went a different direction and wish them the best of luck. Surprisingly, people will respond to this one when they realize you are taking it out of their court.
And honestly, after that, there really isn’t much that can be done. You’ve done your due diligence following up with them. I would archive the lead and move on to hopefully a more qualified lead.
And as much as it stinks, don’t take it personally – you weren’t meant for everyone and vice versa, and that is ok!
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