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Ghosted? How to reactivate your closed-lost deals

June 24, 2020

Ghosting (noun) 👻

“The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”

It happens so often in B2B sales. You’ve built up good rapport with a prospect, you’ve shown them a killer sales demo, and then...nothing! They don’t answer your calls, they don’t respond to your emails. What do you do next? 

We asked Cognism’s sales team for their advice on what to do when you’ve been ghosted. Our colleagues Bradley Davies and Charlie Beale gave us their top tactics for getting back on your prospect’s radar and bringing your closed-lost deals back to life.

Scroll 👇 to see Cognism’s guide to ghosting!

1 - Don’t forget about the ghost!

The most important aspect of keeping closed-lost opps engaged is also the simplest: don’t forget about them! 

Even if you know nothing can be done for 6 months in terms of exchange of services, set regular reminders to either: 

  • Send them relevant, useful content.
  • Simply check-in with them personally! Ask them non-work-related questions. Ask them how their real-life is going. This is especially important during the challenging times we’re all living through.

You’ll find that following these steps will make the actual business re-engagement much easier. Earn the ghost’s respect and trust, keep building rapport, and they will be much more open to giving your product a second look.

2 - Try many touchpoints

Engage with the ghost using as many different types of touchpoints as possible. Don’t just call or email - send them LinkedIn messages, videos or even handwritten notes!

A good tip is to look at how the SDR initially got in touch with the ghost. If the SDR booked a meeting with the ghost from LinkedIn prospecting, say, then you can focus your energy more on this avenue.

Beyond that, don’t shy away from the phone! Every SDR knows the worth of cold calling. It’s still the best method for sparking up conversations with prospects. Chances are if you’ve spoken before, you have their mobile number too.

3 - Be a LinkedIn champion

In B2B prospecting, LinkedIn is the social network you have to focus on. If your ghost is on LinkedIn and using it every day, then you should be, too!

Regular LinkedIn messages and/or voice notes are great ways to keep on people’s radar. Keep an eye on their LinkedIn activity, as well. If the ghost posts some great content, for example, have a read and send them your feedback.

This is all good for building rapport and keeping the conversation going - you’re taking time out of your day to engage with them!

4 - Be unconventional

Cognism’s sales team often deploys some unusual techniques to win their ghosts around. Physical, rather than digital, engagement can produce some great results. Our BDMs use Reachdesk to send personalised gifts and direct mail to prospects, clients - and ghosts!

One example quoted by Charlie Beale is to send food vouchers via Reachdesk. It’s a good means of dropping in with ghosts and quickly striking up a dialogue.

5 - Meme up!

Memes! Everybody loves them, right? They’re not just pointless distractions, they can actually do a world of good in getting ghosts to engage. 

Cognism BDM Saif Khan has made memes part of his weekly routine. Every Friday, he sends memes to his open and closed opps. He’s seen great engagement from doing this. If you can make someone laugh, they’ll be much more likely to send you a reply...and getting a reply is the first step in reviving a closed-lost ghost!

Alternatively, you can take the other route and play on the prospect’s heart-strings. Remind them that you made time for them and it’s just good manners for them to reply.

Ghosted meme

6 - Use data to your advantage

Tom Spanswick is an AE at BrightEdge, the leading SEO and content performance solution. He shared with us a great tip to keep ghosts engaged. It’s a very simple process of using B2B data to your advantage.

Tom screenshots Google Trends data and sends it to prospects. The reasoning behind this is to show them that there’s still a requirement for their product, as it’s being searched ‘x’ times.

This sales strategy can’t be used in every instance - it very much depends on the prospect’s product or service - but it does show the value of thinking outside the box to reactivate your closed-lost deals.

What if nothing works?

When trying to engage with ghosts, always remember that people are busy and may not reply the first or even the second time. Keep trying until you’re confident they’re not coming back. Then try again one last time! Persistence often pays off as a B2B sales rep.

There are other things you can do if you’re finding that all your efforts are going to waste. Try contacting other stakeholders in the ghost’s business to see if they’ve spoken about you, or if they’re ill/on annual leave.

We asked Charlie and Bradley for their final thoughts on what to do when you reach the end of the line.

Charlie Beale:

“If you do give up on the deal, always ask for feedback on what you could’ve done better. That could be just the thing that gets the prospect to start talking again!”

Bradley Davies:

“In the worst-case scenario, close-lose but then get back in touch 2-3 months later. Keep an eye on their LinkedIn profile and news articles for anything that might be relevant. Never totally give up on a good deal!”

Get more B2B sales tips

Looking for more insights into outbound sales and B2B lead generation? Cognism has published an eBook for B2B/SaaS sales leaders.

Find out how to scale a sales team from the ground-up, identify best-fit customers and engage with them using the phone, email and social!

Click 👇 to download B2B Outbound: Building predictable growth today!

B2B Outbound Building predictable growth