When your Prospect goes DARK !!

On September 6, 2019, in sales plan template, Sales Training, by bob davis

One of the questions I receive most often during a Q&A after a public presentation is “What do I do when my Prospect goes “Dark”.  I’m very practical. My system sales system (a simple sales plan) is very practical. So here are four simple and practical ways to deal with the situation.

The three stages during the sales cycle where typically targets get stuck are.
(For more detail on sales staging see a simple sales plan)

  1. A solid sales call where you are now trying to set an appointment.
  2. After a presentation where you looking to advance the relationship.
  3. After a proposal is presented and you are awaiting a decision.

Here are some suggestions on what you can do.

1. Don’t let them go dark in the first place.
In each of the sales stages above you need to get “buy in”, some type of reciprocal agreement tied to a deadline. This can be a sample, a budget, a facility tour, etc., anything where you have asked your prospect to act. Remember you are invested. If they are going to be a good client and you created enough value. they should be willing act.

2. Strengthen your Pipeline
The more deals you have in the pipeline, the less important each deal is. When my pipeline is strong there are more opportunities, more profitability and income. And less stress! So how do you strengthen your pipeline without working 60 hours a week? Work smarter. If you have a systemized sales strategy and process you will have less targets but better targets deeper in the pipeline more often. It’s not a numbers game, it’s about the quality of your targets, not the quantit

3.Offer them a “Carrot” or a “Stick”
If they are currently unresponsive you need to create some call to action. This can be a “Carrot”, something that will be a sweetener; better terms, volume discount, new product offering, bundled pricing, etc. Or it can be a “Stick”; price increase, deadline to deliver or order materials, recent limitation on capacity, etc. In general, I prefer the :Stick”.

4. Stay Persistent – Don’t quit too soon
If they are a highly qualified target (see # 2 above), don’t give up. Most reps quit too early. Stay in touch with articles of business or personal interest, opportunities to connect socially, product updates, etc. Remember if they are well qualified, you are invested. Stay in the game. You will know when it is time to quit.

If you don’t have a Simple Sales Plan that works consider purchasing my low cost ($149.00) 100 % GUARANTEED Training Video with all the tools, templates you need to execute for yourself or a sales team.

If it doesn’t work for you, I will refund your investment NO QUESTIONS asked. 
a simple sales plan

Do this one thing, FIVE times this week and voila… More Money!

What is the one thing that you can do to improve your sales pipeline and even add an order or three to your sales efforts this week? It is Sales 101 stuff but we tend to forget the power of… Tada!


 I do this with my clients at the end of every quarter and they get orders. Yes, ORDERS as in PO’s, Billings, and Invoices. You know, those things that buy the baby new shoes.

Here is what you do in THREE simple steps.
(Email me or go to “tools” on my website if you would like a script)

  1. Make a list of your top, most favored or strongest relationship based customers.
  2. CALL them up (don’t email) and
    1. Thank them for the business and the relationship
    2. Ask them who they know that might be a good referral for you *
    3. Ask them if it is OK to use their name
    4. Take notes
  3. Call the referral and mention the person who gave you the referral, use your intro script, value proposition, handle any objections and BAM! New qualified prospect and in some cases, ORDERS. (See definition above!)

* Bonus. Use LinkedIn to see who they are connected to. This can prime the pump.

REFERRALS on Steroids
Okay you say “That’s cool but EXACTLY how do I do that?” Or if you are saying I really don’t have an intro script or a value proposition and I struggle with effectively handling objections then you might want to get with me.  If you want to put this tactic on steroids you will need a practiced plan and a structure for the call. But the truth is even if you wing it, you will be doing positive, high return sales activities that can increase your sales.

If you don’t have a Simple Sales Plan that works consider purchasing my low cost ($149.00) 100 % GUARANTEED Training Video with all the tools, templates you need to execute for yourself or a sales team.

If it doesn’t work for you, I will refund your investment NO QUESTIONS asked. 
a simple sales plan

connect on LinkedIn - referal


Oh my… why would a Sales Consultant recommend that you “Fire” your clients? You should be helping me find new ones!! Dern Bob… you must not be very good!

Let me explain. When the market is “down” my clients hire me to help them with new business development (revenue) and when it is “up” they feel that they don’t need a “Sales Consultant”. Yet I am busy in “down” as well us “up” markets. Why? Because there is opportunity all the time!

In a solid market like we are experiencing now, why not work on new business development AND work even harder on increasing margins? This is why I say it’s time to consider “Firing” some clients.

Here is how you might do that.

  • Create a simple spreadsheet with the following columns
    1. 2015 Revenue
    2. 2015 Gross Profit Margin
    3. Average Aged Receivables
    4. “Hassle” Factor – On a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high) how difficult are they to deal with i.e. heavy customer service support, tough to deal with, hard on employees, are not cooperative, tight turns, unreasonable demands, returns, etc.
  • Sort the columns and take a good look at it. Sort it a number of ways. Take another good look. You will see the clients that are best served by your competition!
  • Take another look with them out of your spreadsheet replaced with a “clone “of one or some of your midrange revenue but higher margin accounts and look how that effects your total gross margin. Fuss with it.
  • On the identified clients start to raise their prices to where it would be “worth-while” for you to have them on your balance sheet. You can do it incrementally if you like, but raise your price.
  • Now turn your attention to building new business opportunities with better potential.
  • If this scares you, consider raising your prices a ½ -1% per month every month on a grouping of lower ranked clients. You will see incremental margin improvement and lower the risk of a lower revenue number, should that be a specific concern.

It doesn’t cost you anything but some time to take a look. You might be surprised at what you see. This is why I stay busy. If you can increase margin and build a pipeline of “better” customers your business will be more profitable, stronger, worth more and more fun with potentially lower operating costs!

About simple.sales.strategy
We provide support and sales training to small and medium size businesses and individuals by building an effective, simple and proven systematic sales process that is scalable, sustainable and sane.

With this structure and guidance, sales teams and individual sales professionals move prospects to customers, existing accounts to growth and marginal accounts to improved profitability with consistent and measurable results. 100% Guaranteed

If you don’t have a Simple Sales Plan that works consider purchasing my low cost ($149.00) 100 % GUARANTEED Training Video with all the tools, sales plan templates you need to execute for yourself.


Web Analytics