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12 Tactics to Try When Customers Stonewall Your Sales Calls

I recently described steps you can take when a prospect goes silent on you. As sales reps, you know and expect prospects to do that from time to time. But what about when it’s a customer who won’t return your calls? That, my friends, is a much bigger issue.

They should want to talk to you. When a customer goes silent, you have to make them see the value in talking with you. These 12 strategies should do the trick.

1. If your client has an assistant, start there. Call the assistant with a business reason in mind and ask for some time on your customer’s calendar.

2. Talk to other contacts in the company to determine if your client is actually avoiding you. For all you know, they might be on vacation or working on a big project.

3. Review recent conversations or your last business proposal and identify time-sensitive issues. These are great value propositions or meeting topics.

4. If you can’t find an issue, that might explain why your customer isn’t returning calls. Your staff can help you determine any needs your customer might have.

5. Tag along on any upcoming visits that your support staff has with the client. If there isn’t one, suggest a review meeting.

6. Send your client a calendar invitation for a 30-minute meeting. They could very well accept the invite – even if they’re not answering your calls.

7. Send a Starbucks gift card with a personal note inviting them to meet for coffee and make plans for whatever they indicated their top initiatives were when last you spoke.

8. Drop in and see if your client will talk to you even for just a few minutes. If not, someone else might. Walking the halls could also lead to a quick hallway conversation with your contact.

9. Personally invite your customer to any special events you’re hosting that would be valuable for them. Think webinars, lunch and learns and executive luncheons.

10. If you’ve gotten casual in your communications, it’s time to switch it up. Make emails and voicemails match the more formal tone you use with prospects.

11. Use your prospecting strategies; alternate emails and phone calls every four days.

12. If intermingling calls and emails doesn’t work, try the tips I mentioned in my other recent blog: “10 Strategies to Use When Prospects Go Silent.”

You can’t scratch customers off your contact list. They’re too important. So if they’re stonewalling you, it’s up to you to figure out why and reestablish the connection.

How do you respond when a customer suddenly appears to be stonewalling you? Add your strategies in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!


Kendra Lee

Kendra Lee

Kendra Lee is president of KLA Group, which works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment. Read more blogs from Kendra here.

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