You've probably heard about "ghosting," especially if you're in the extremely challenging modern dating world, but have you heard about "business ghosting"? You've probably either been on the giving or receiving end of it and didn't even know it.
Business ghosting is when you spend time and energy in a meeting, putting together a proposal or a contract and then poof...that client or contact just disappears. It's frustrating, rude, and frankly just bad business.
It's time to take a stand against business ghosting. Here are 5 tips to exercise your ghost demons.
1. Qualify Your Leads
Entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs alike have an especially hard time qualifying leads. This is because as business owners, they are hungry for the next hit, the next fix of business success and, let's be honest, the next paycheck.
But all of that is a waste of time if you're just pumping out proposals, taking call after call and meeting after meeting with no result. It sounds so simple, but people are afraid to ask the hard questions namely, time or urgency to start a project, and budget.
One option is to have a qualifying questionnaire whether it's 5 or 50 questions that gets to the meat of the lead's interest, and budget. From there it's easy to determine if it's a good lead and if not, it's ok to say it's not a good fit and move on. Your time is better spent closing, not chasing, the ghost.
2. Make It Funny
People take business way too seriously. Aside from a few brain surgeons and oncologists, most of the world isn't curing cancer, so bring some levity to your work.
A great way of doing this and pulling the sheets off your ghosts are with great subject lines. One of my favorites is: "Is This Thing On?" The response you get back from using a little humor is really astounding. Even if the answer is a no at least you have an answer and can move on to better prospects.
3. You Deserve an Answer
Don't let people get away with not responding. I'm not advocating stalking, and in fact, I use that as a joke in my emails when I'm not getting a response back. But more than anything, knowing that you deserve an answer should light a friendly fire.
Think about all of the time and energy you spent on that meeting and the proposal and follow up. You wont get an answer every time, but stand by your conviction and make sure you're honoring your own time and energy.
This post was originally published for INC. Magazine, to see the remaining tips, read the rest of the article here.
Stay tuned for more from Laurel through her Inc. column 'On Brand'.