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How to Engage Unresponsive B2B Sales Prospects

Posted by IndustrySelect on Monday, February 17, 2020

Gray-haired man with glasses and a suit talks on a cell phone

Common B2B Sales Objections and How to Overcome Them: Part Three

3 MIN. READ

Welcome to Part Three of our "Common B2B Sales Objections and How to OverCome Them" series, where we give salespeople and marketers in the manufacturing industry the tools they need to outpace competitors and seal deals.

Last week, we took a look at some winning responses to clients who say they need more time to think over your proposal

But what about those prospects who are too busy to even take your call in the first place?

Today, it's time to tackle one of the most infuriating prospects salespeople come across: the client who ust "doesn't have time right now" or insists that they'll "get back to you later, now's not a good time" whenever a vendor approaches them.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways salespeople can engage in productive dialogues with these customers.

The Problem: Prospects Don't Have Clearly Defined Needs

The B2B sales process in every industry has changed drastically in recent years, and manufacturing is no exception.

Buying groups are larger than ever, and buyers tend to do a significant amount of research before contacting vendors.

As a result, many vendors assume that clients who reach out to them are close to the end of the buying phase. Often, that assumption is wrong.

The truth is, roughly half of B2B buyers are still unsure of the full scope of their business needs when they start contacting vendors.

Since these buyers are still defining their needs, they're less likely to respond to contact attempts by vendors.

After all, it's hard to justify spending time in a sales pitch when you don't know whether the product or service being offered even meets your needs.

The Solution: Justifying a Product or Service to the Client

For salespeople dealing with unresponsive buyers at the start of a sales pitch, getting everyone on the same page should be a priority.

Around 84% of buyers don't hear back from vendors when they ask questions. If a salesperson responds to a prospect promptly, they're already setting themselves apart from the competition.

Answering questions helps buyers understand whether or not a product or service meets their needs. The more honest and objective a vendor is with their answers and the advice they give, the more responsive potential clients are likely to be.

Of course, this only works at the start of the sales process. Here are a few techniques salespeople can use to try and get in touch with a client who's going dark later in the process:

• Don't guilt them. Bringing up the number of times a prospect has rejected contact attempts or made excuses isn't effective.

• Change up contact attempts and closes. Try calling prospects at different times of day. Instead of closing by trying to establish a meeting, bring up a topic the prospect enjoys and ask them to chat about it during the next meeting. Introducing variety into the process can help prospects loosen up and look forward to meetings rather than dreading them.

• Attempt to make contact with other members of their organization. Some tact is required here. It's possible to ask the prospect to connect you with another person in the buying group if they seem receptive to a product but unsure the offering is tailored to their needs. Otherwise, try sending a valuable resource (such as a white paper) to multiple individuals, including the first contact. If the original prospect hasn't responded to requests in days or weeks, they'll be hard-pressed to begrudge a salesperson for choosing an alternative route.

• Leave the door open. Prospects are used to break-up emails or ultimatums. For a more modern approach, try telling the client something like, "it appears our goals aren't aligned right now. I'll get in touch in a few months to see if anything's changed. Feel free to reach out if you get the urge!" This type of close is more aligned with current prescriptive sales techniques and is more likely to elicit a positive response from prospects.

Fresh B2B Leads When You Need Them

IndustrySelect

Sometimes, you've got to put reluctant clients on the back burner and chase after the next lead. In that event, it helps to have a steady stream of sales leads so that you're always working fresh prospects.

If you're a sales leader or marketer looking to reach decision-makers in the U.S. manufacturing and energy industry sectors, we can help. IndustrySelect provides clients with customizable data for potential leads in the industrial world.

Get instant access to IndustrySelect's database of 500,000 industrial businesses and one million executives in the U.S. manufacturing and global energy sectors. Drill down to the data you need using up to 30 specific criteria points. Data is collected and verified by MNI's 80-person research team, so you're always working with updated data.

To learn more about how you can use IndustrySelect to generate reliable leads for your company, visit our website to try out a free demo.

Want to know more on how to deal with unresponsive prospects? See more from Dan Lok in the video below or see our free online sales training videos!

Next up: Read Part Four of this series>>How to Respond When Prospects Say "I'll Get Back to You."

 Article Sources:

https://www.gartner.com/en/sales-service/insights/b2b-buying-journey
https://www.smartinsights.com/b2b-digital-marketing/b2b-buyers-dont-have-defined-goals/
https://www.b2bnn.com/2018/08/84-of-b2b-buyers-tell-timetrade-they-dont-hear-back-when-they-ask-vendors-questions/
https://hbr.org/2017/03/the-new-sales-imperative
https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/tips-to-get-an-unresponsive-prospect-talking-again

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