How to Leverage LinkedIn to Close Prospects that Ghosted You
We all have prospects that on occasion, ghost us after a great discovery call. Today I want to show you how I leveraged LinkedIn to bring one of my “ghost” prospects back from the dead and closed the deal.
Before I give you the exact steps (and small risk), I took, I think it’s essential for you to know a few facts about this scenario.
For starters, we had an excellent qualify (discovery call) and clearly defined the next steps were to move forward. The prospect matched our ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and their inside sales challenges aligned perfectly with our live online sales training solutions to solve those challenges.
The proper qualify questions were asked and answered to everyone’s satisfaction, and we agreed upon the “next steps” to move forward (close the deal).
And when it came time to do the follow-up call, that’s when my hot prospect went ice cold and ghosted me.
This happens in sales, and with millennials moving up the corporate ladder, it’s becoming even more common. No right or wrong, good or bad. It’s just the way it is.
The reason the deal has my attention so much and why I want to write about how I solved it is because we all occasionally get a scenario where we are 99% sure we have a new deal coming (based on how the previous call went) and then, nothing.
You call and leave a voicemail(s), followed by emails, only to hear “crickets.”
Most sales reps in this situation will keep calling and emailing until the point that they become so annoying, they ruin any chance of doing business with that prospect now or in the future.
Other sales reps will take to LinkedIn and use “InMail” to send them a message – but that fails too. After all, you already emailed them – sending them more emails from another source (LinkedIn) adds to the “annoyance” factor.
Some salespeople will take to Twitter and stalk their prospect and send messages that way to them – but again, this can quickly borderline harassment.
You need a game-changer. It’s not that they aren’t getting your messages. They didn’t all of a sudden stop checking their voicemail or emails, so they know you are trying to get ahold of them. Something happened that is causing a delay, and it’s your job to get the conversation going again in order to find out what the road-block is and then offer a solution.
But how do you do that when they don’t answer your calls or emails?
1) Be Creative. You have to think outside the box. Especially if it’s a deal worth going the extra mile for (and in my case, this client was worth the extra effort)
2) Be Willing to Take Risks. You have to be willing to color outside the lines to get their attention (and the deal!)
Here’s how I leveraged LinkedIn to get my ghost back from the grave:
I viewed my prospects profile on LinkedIn and (thankfully) she had something unique about her in her bio – she had a great fondness for different types of “cheeses.”
So, I went to Google, typed in “Cheese Baskets” and then whipped out my AMEX card and dropped some coin for next day delivery.
I put a little note in the delivery (so she would know it’s from me) that said:
“Hi (NAME): Not to be cheesy, but I haven’t heard back from you, and I noticed on your LinkedIn profile that you are a (CHEESE REFERENCE). Enjoy, and if we can be of some help with your sales team, let me know. Michael Pedone, SalesBuzz.com”
The delivery was made at 2:10 pm and at 2:41 pm, my ghost was raised from the dead. This was the email I received back:
I’ll tell you. That cheese did the trick.
I apologize that I ghosted, with EOM it got a bit crazy here (in a good way). We have all budget requests frozen until May 8th when we have our board meeting. This was news to me and told to me when I followed up on the proposal Friday. It definitely means we’ll miss the May 2nd start, but I’m hoping we can roll into your next class. We have done a lot of evaluation of other vendors at this point, so it’s clear that we’d move forward with you, now it’s just getting that signed off by my Exec. Hopefully, that gave you more insight, and I apologize again. Thanks for the cheese gift!!!! Now to decide if I’ll share with the team…”
From that point on, calls were answered, and emails were responded to in a much shorter time frame than before, and 23 days later, the deal was signed.
The moral of the story is not that I sent a gift basket. It’s that I was willing to do whatever it took to earn my prospect’s business because I believed very strongly that we could help them with their sales challenges and I was willing to look for another way back in the door, and LinkedIn provided the key to the lock.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches outbound sales teams exactly what to say to get sales conversations started with hard to reach decision-makers. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.
ELIMINATE CALL RELUCTANCE
- How to Warm Up and Close Cold Leads
- Eliminate “No, Thanks”, “Not Interested” & “We’re All Set” Responses
- Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
- Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
- Improve your Qualifying Skills
- Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
- Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
- How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
- Improve Your Time Management Skills
Duration: 1 hour per week for 8 weeks
Where: Online @ your desk, conference room or home
Presenters: Michael Pedone