There’s nothing worse than doing the work, putting in the time, going for the close and being told, “I’ll be back.” Who the [email protected] are they? The Terminator? “I’ll be back.” Hearing that sh*t makes me madder than a midget with a yo-yo. What’s worse, is if they are a truly qualified candidate, it’s your duty to track them down, finish the sale and close them.
Tracking down a ghost is a lot easier said than done.
Over the years, I’ve let a few good sales slip through the cracks. I’ve always thought if they don’t buy from me, they might get ripped off elsewhere” and I’ve done my part to attempt to keep that from happening. As I’ve become more and more technically advanced, I’ve found faster and easier ways to track down and follow up with people I want to do business with.
Allow me to share my insight on what I call “ghost hunting.” Ghost Hunting is when you’re looking for a prospect who disappeared on you. Sometimes it’s more like prospects walked through the walls than out through the door. I’ve gotten pretty good at finding folks and getting them back in the box and closed. Lemme hook you up.
Google Search – I’m sure right now you’re thinking OK, Captain Obvious, but you’d be surprised at how few people use Google to search for prospects. Google can find pretty much anyone for you; if you know how to use it. In this day and age, 99 percent of the people on the planet have an online footprint somewhere. All you have to do is improve at how you use search phrases to find who you’re looking for.
I like to use phrases that include the prospect’s name and occupation. Like searching for “Ryan Stewman mortgages” and refining my search from there. I also like using phrases that include a working title such as “Ryan Stewman CEO” or “Ryan Stewman, chief executive officer.” Get creative. You can even use Google to find out what sites your ghost might have been on, then do some sales recon when you find them.
Facebook Search – These days there are over two billion people on Facebook, so there’s a 99 percent chance your prospect is on there. I’ve had people tell me, “My prospects aren’t on Facebook” and I’m like: “You don’t work with humans?” Because I’ve sold to the rich, the poor, the young, the old and every person in-between, all on Facebook. I’ve even helped a Texas land developer sell more than $12 million in real estate from Facebook this year alone.
Mutual Connections are pretty easy to come by these days. If you sell locally, there’s a chance you’re connected to someone who’s connected to your prospect. If you know the mutual connection well, ask for a recommendation or referral. If you don’t know the mutual connection that well, simply reach out to the prospect on FB and mention you share the same connection. Instant re-conversation starter.
LinkedIn – Most likely, when you use Google to search for their name and job title, LinkedIn will be the first thing to come up. LinkedIn has some serious Google juice, with just about every working American listed on their site. It’s not a site that’s frequented as much as Facebook, but it’s white-listed with all the email servers, so if you send a message, it usually goes to your contact’s email, too.
One of the things you can also do on LinkedIn, that’s both a great prospect reminder and will help to build good karma, is giving that prospect a review or recommendation. Just by doing this, LinkedIn automatically sends a notice to their email, and that also makes them feel good—sometimes even obligated to let you close them.
Email – Did you know sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Pinterest, Twitter and damn near every other site out there allow you to search for people by their email address? Most sites require an email address to log in. Which means, most likely, the email address the ghost left you, is the same one they use to log in to many sites. Search using their email and then follow up accordingly on the sites where you find them.
What’s crazy to me, and what I see all the time, is a salesperson calling a ghost 20 times, but never emailing them. Most calls go unanswered, and emails have a higher read rate than the answer rate of calls. Make sure you email your prospects, ghosts and all, at least once a day until you hear back. Try asking questions, or using crafty subject lines to get them to open your emails vs. opening the other 10,000 in their inbox.
Texting – Way too many salespeople are afraid to text prospects. This especially is the case in B2B sales. At least once a week, someone in my Sales Talk With Sales Pros group on Facebook asks if we think it’s okay to text a prospect. “Hell yeah, it’s okay!” Matter of fact, it’s encouraged. Text messages have a 99 percent impression rate and a 93 percent read rate. Get on that sh*t, son!
Try this instead of texting a sales pitch—(you can also apply this to your emails). Text them questions. “Morning James, it’s Ryan over at the Ford dealership. Did you get the price quote on the car you were looking for?” Then leave it at that. Don’t send a text asking a million questions. Simply text them, ask a question, get the answer, then ask another. One text per thought/question. Keep them engaged until you can close them.
Since you’ve done all that work, you might as well follow up and get paid for it. Tracking down ghosts is a pain in the @ss. I get it. I’m a salesman too, you know. Do you know what’s not a pain in the @ss? Getting paid a commission for closing a sale. I don’t care how bad the process was, the check always makes it feel worth the work. Follow up with ghosts and get paid for your work.