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Ray Makela

By: Ray Makela on July 28th, 2016

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What to Do When a Prospect Isn't Ready to Buy

Sales Process | Prospecting

In this episode, Daniel asks: A prospect has told you they’re interested in your product but not for a few months or quarters down the road, and they won't take an intro or first discovery call now.

What are some best practices in checking in with the prospect to stay top of mind? Would that be a casual "hope all is well" email? Or case studies that are relevant to the industry?

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Video Summary

Your marketing department has worked extremely hard to generate interest and get an initial response from a prospect. But when the prospect responds, she says she’s not ready to make a purchase yet.

According to a recent post by HubSpot, about 50% of your prospects will fit into this category: Qualified but not ready to buy today.

In the meantime, what do you do?

Schedule a Follow-up

Ask the prospect when she’ll be ready to proceed. Is this an initiative that’s on the agenda for next quarter? If so, ask her if you can set up a follow-up call for the end of this quarter.

By getting an appointment on the calendar, you’ll have something to work towards. You’ll also be able to engage the prospect in a discussion to further assess whether she’s (a) qualified and (b) anticipates doing something in the future.

Fortunately, most prospects will be willing to put something on the calendar.

Nurture Them with Relevant Content

In the interim period, keep these leads warm by engaging them in a way that shows your expertise without being annoying.

This can be accomplished by ensuring your emails are relevant and tailored specifically to each prospect. Work hard to provide relevant content and information until they’re ready to buy. Even though customized e-mails take more time to prepare, these tailored, more relevant emails can be up to 18 more times more successful than generic or broadcast emails.

Here are some examples of effective ways to open these emails:

  • “I was thinking about you today…”
  • “It occurred to me after our last conversation that you might be interested in this webinar/blog post/etc…”
  • "Here’s a piece of third-party research that I thought you might be interested in.”

This approach shows that you’re thinking about the prospect while providing relevant information.

Encourage a Response

Last but not least, it’s important to engage with prospects in a way that encourages them to respond. Even if they don’t respond, they’ll be in a much better position to interact with you in the future because they’ve received the content you’ve provided and better understand your solution.

SRG Insights is a Q&A video series where we answer your questions on the topics of sales, sales management, sales coaching, and sales training. Featuring sales experts with over 25 years of sales and sales management experience.  

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About Ray Makela

Ray Makela is the General Manager of the Sales Readiness Group, A Part of SBI. He oversees all client engagements as well as serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation, and sales training workshops. Ray has over 20 years of management, consulting, and sales experience and writes frequently on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams.