Usually, an unresponsive client who’s been sent a proposal or a follow-up email becomes unresponsive for several reasons, but the most common of them is that the unresponsive client cannot make you his priority over other agendas on his schedule. Their business, family and social life in many ways will supersede the reason why you need them to be responsive. However, you don’t have to give up just yet, if you can persevere, be persistent and unrelenting, you may soon shift to the top of your prospects priority list.
This post will give you an insight into how to handle telephone conversations with an unresponsive client.
Sample Telephone Scripts
So you have made a cold call or bumped into this client somewhere and you had a chat. You have equally placed several follow-up calls and emails to them but nothing is forthcoming. Now you want to pick your phone up the umpteenth time and you are wondering, is talking to this unresponsive client worth it? Should you spend another minute expecting a positive response or would it be better to give up?
The truth is, it’s up to you to give up or give more time to this unresponsive client. It is normal for unresponsive clients to act as though they are not interested and if you are not patient enough, you may have lost one of your biggest clients. Just as you are busy doing all you can to get their attention, they are busy tending to other important things on their schedule. If someone was pitching a product to you, you would spend more time following up with your existing or prospective clients, so also, they are all about their businesses and not you. With this knowledge in hand, you should allow every unresponsive client to evolve the way they can.
Sample Script for an unresponsive client 1
You: Hello Bob, How are you doing today? Trust you are fine. A quick one, I just called to let you know I sent a proposal to your e-mail, please have a look at it and I will call you same time tomorrow. Client: Alright Trisha.
Did you notice that this is a one-ended answer from Bob? and it doesn’t sound encouraging that he will check the proposal on the same day but, if you were Trisha, you have put a sticky note as a reminder to call the next day.
When you call, you expect he has either read or not read the proposal, where the latter is the position, you may have to allow him some more time. But, in all you do, don’t give up immediately.
Sample Script for an unresponsive client 2
If you are yet to get a response to the sent proposal, send a reminder email and then call to inform him in the reminder email. Your conversation can go this way.
You: Hello Bob, I just called to inform you that I sent a reminder email with respect to our last discussion, I understand that you are busy and may not have enough time to check the proposal, however, I will wait until you do. Client: Erm, yes, I sure will Trisha, thanks for understanding.
This is a typical way of saying, Bob, I understand that you need this product or service but I also know you are busy and I am flexible enough to let you decide when to get back to me. This way he feels obligated rather than under pressure.
Sample Script for an unresponsive client 3
Now, let’s talk about people with partners or board members.
In instances where you are pitching to only one member of the Board of an organization or a partner in a firm, you will need a long stretch of perseverance. The reason being that, in a case where the partner or board member you are pitching to has decided, the decision to carry on business with you cannot be taken in isolation of other members or partner, except he or she is charged with such duty and it is among his or her job description. In this situation, you may have to set up a reminder to contact them often as these types of decisions would usually take longer than that of an individual or a sole proprietor. Here is what your communication should sound like:
You: Hello Bob, how are you today? The last time we spoke, you wanted to check with your partner if he had the same opinion as you concerning the percentage we offer on our loans, I am calling to know if there is any response or would you prefer I give a call back sometime this week? Bob: Yes, please give a callback, he is yet to check. Or Bob: Oh no, he is yet to make a decision but I will get back to you as soon as he does
If Bob gave the first response, then you should call back in 48 hours, but if it’s the second response, please wait for him to get back, you can either send a reminder email and follow up with a call or just call after about 2-3 days.
Sample Script 4
After about a week and no calls or email feedback, anyone will feel exhausted but you shouldn’t. As much as they haven’t said an outright NO, there is hope. They may be having a tough time with finances or it may just be a general tight work schedule. So, at this point, you should give them about a week before another call, and when you call, you should gently intimate them on your lack of enthusiasm to continue with follow-up.
You: Hello Bob, I am calling to thank you for your interest in this project, I have been keeping my schedule open for the presentation you require to move this project forward, however, if you are yet to decide as of now, it's totally fine, please let me know.
Many times, the response will be
Bob: Ok, Trisha, thanks for the call and I do appreciate your persistence. I apologise for not getting back, it’s just that work has been so busy in recent time but let’s do this, why not meet me up at my office on Thursday, say, 1 pm, is that fine by you?
Bob: Yes Trisha, we have decided to take another route, sorry we did not get back on time, should our interest take on your services in the future we will contact you.
Whatever response is given, you know you have either achieved getting yourself on their tight schedule or putting the follow-up on hold. At this point, you just add them to your newsletter list so that they can benefit from your emails and maybe you will get a call from them in the future.
Sample Script 5
Depending on the sequence of your follow up call to the unresponsive client, you can make a final call in this line (especially if there is no positive feedback). It’s a way to close the loop.
You: Hello Bob, I am just calling to say thank you for listening to me all this while, however, should you require my services in future, I can be contacted through this number or via email. It was nice meeting you. Hope to do business with you sometime soon. Bob: Ok Trisha, thank you too.
By placing this last call, you have closed the door gently and your attitude will go a long way in getting him to do business with you or if not him, he may refer you to anyone in need of your services.
- Set up auto-reminders using apps and software such as ‘Bonsai’ or ‘Freshbooks’.
- Always send an email with a call to action. Doing this keeps the process on for a long while.
- Don’t forget that an unresponsive client doesn’t mean an unresponsive referral. If a client does not give you the right audience, keeping the best attitude in your calls may land you a better referral from him so keep your mind open and less emotional. You never know who your next client will be.
Always prepare your mind for a positive and negative response when talking to an unresponsive client, so that when you send an unresponsive client a proposal or a follow-up email and you don’t get a positive response, you are not caught unaware and you know the next line of action.
What are other telephone scripts you have used for unresponsive clients? Let us know in the comment section below.
Ayo Oyedotun is a professional blogger and freelance writer. He reads, writes and talks about business. You can follow him on Twitter @Ayo_Oyedotun[http://twitter.com/#!/Ayo_Oyedotun] or read Business Owners’ Bible[http://woculus.com/].
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