Why do we struggle to say NO to people? Do we feel like we’ll hurt their feelings? Or perhaps they’ll think we’re bad people? I’ll tell you this for free: Being ignored is worse than being told NO.
If you’re a salesperson, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the glorious journey of chasing up on prospects who end up doing what the sales fraternity lovingly calls ‘being ghosted’.
Now, just for the record, ‘ghosting’ doesn’t apply to unsolicited sales efforts. If you’re chasing on a prospect who you have not engaged with at all, but you keep on keepin’ on with no response from them, I accept that if they don’t respond, it’s not considered ghosting. They’re just not entertaining the conversation.
If you have, indeed, engaged with someone looking to solve a problem for your business, or just downright sell you something (engaged means you’ve requested information or a demo, or you’ve originally entertained their sales pitch and you’ve had some sort of discussion and presented an initial interest), and they’re chasing up in whichever cadence they think best (whether by email, phonecall or otherwise), here are the 2 scenarios you may be in, and the 2 options I’d suggest you take.
- Scenario 1: You’re not ready right now. Solution: Tell them! And give an indication of when a better time would be. 12 months’ time is okay too! They’ll stop chasing you (which helps both you and them) and you can reconnect at the right time for you. They’ll make note to get in touch (trust me), you don’t have to do a thing. Win-win.
- Scenario 2: You’re not interested anymore. Solution: Tell them! I can guarantee that having a “Radio silence” or “Ghosting me” on their deal in their pipeline is far more frustrating than just removing you entirely and focusing on someone else who’s interested. They won’t be mad (maybe a little sad) but they’ll move on.
In the end, it’s very simple: Tell them! Whether you’re in, you’re out, or you’re not ready, simple communication will help both you and the salesperson.
It’s the human thing to do.