Colleen Answers Your Sales Question: Chasing Down MIA Prospects

Good Afternoon Colleen,


I have been speaking with a VP for a prospect who has a project we can work on. We had built good rapport in our initial meeting however, now I can’t get a hold of her. I told her in a voicemail that I would call at a particular time one day. I ended up in a meeting and didn’t call until 30 minutes later. The contact then went on vacation. The contact has been back for about three weeks. Instead of leaving more voicemail, I over-nighted a package of customer testimonials, which was received last Friday. I attached a hand-written note asking when this week would be good to speak. I never heard back. Have I lost this prospect or is there a chance to recover?

Thanks, Ian



Hi Ian,

Thanks for your email. I love the idea of the courier package. Great work trying something different. The only change I would suggest is rather than asking “when would be a good time to speak?” – you should have noted that you were going to call at a specific date and time. There is a chance she would have taken your call as noted. If she did not take your call, you have the opportuinty to leave a nice voice mail. Something like “Carrie this is Colleen from Engage calling because I promised to reach you today at 2pm to discuss your ABC project and how we have helped other X with their Y needs. Sorry I missed you. I will try you again Friday at 2pm.”

If you have video testimonials, you could also send her an email with a link to those on your site.

As she has your contact information from the package you sent there is no need to leave it again in the voice mail. I would also send her an email immediately following the voice mail with this same message.

I don’t suspect that you have lost the opportunity. I do suspect she is busy and you are not top priority yet. It’s your job to keep following up and finding a way to reach her. Remember that on average it take 11 calls to get someone’s attention (i.e. get them on the phone) and 7 meetings to get a sale. So unless you have called 77 times… you need to call more! 😉  Take a look at our article the “Fine Line Between Persistence and Stalking” and the voice mail articles in our library for some additional ideas.

Another thought is to start building other contacts in the account that you can reach out to. Can you get the gatekeeper inside? Is there another VP that will be involved in the project? Does the VP have a project manager that you can call? Does the VP have a “C” level executive they report to? I would encourage you to look for 3 other people inside your prospects business unit plus 3 other business units that you can target and leverage to gain another audience with the decision maker and visibility on this opportunity. I call this 3×3 selling as it encourages you to build contacts both wide and deep inside the account for maximum qualification and needs analysis.

Dedicated to increasing your sales,


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