Ghosted by a prospective client? Here’s what to do!


"Ghosting" is a term that is commonly associated with the dating world. It occurs when one person ceases all contact with the other, ending the would-be relationship. But it isn’t just those looking for love who can feel the icy sting of radio silence.

As a small business owner or freelancer, you may have been in contact with a prospective client who had once seemed keen to work with you but has since stopped responding to your emails or calls.

If paranormal inactivity from a prospective client is leaving you in low spirits, why not try these four steps to revive communication with them?

1. Don’t take it personally

A rejection in the form of ghosting can hurt, but try not to take it too personally. There could be a multitude of reasons for a prospect not responding to you; things may be incredibly busy for them at work or they could be having a crisis at home. Instead of getting upset, try to stay calm and consider how you might be able to recapture your prospect's attention.

2. Change up the channel of communication

Your prospect might not be ghosting you intentionally - it might simply be that the medium of communication you’re using doesn’t work for them. The phone may be your favourite way to stay in contact, for example, but your prospective client may not like getting distracted by frequent phone calls and would prefer an email. If you’re an email fan but it doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, try picking up the phone or perhaps even sending a handwritten letter!

3. Tweak what you’re saying

Take a look back at what you’ve said in your previous communications and consider whether there’s something more you can add or a different approach you might want to take.

Think about what you’re proposing to your prospective client. Have you framed things in a way that’s beneficial to their interests? Is your estimate written in a clear, jargon-free manner that your prospective client will be able to understand? Perhaps the tone of your message didn’t quite fit the bill. Depending on your business and brand, you may wish to inject some light humour into your next message or phrase it in a way that compels the prospect to respond.

4. Tap into your network

If a prospect goes cold, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters won’t be much use, but your network could be a great option!

You might have mutual connections with your prospect - either in your ‘real world’ network or your virtual circle of connections - who could help you reconnect. If you don’t have any contacts in common with your prospect, your network can still be a great source of support, inspiration and even new business.

5. Give them a break

It might sound counter-intuitive, but if you’re really struggling to get back in touch with a prospect it might be a good idea to give up the ghost - at least for a little bit. Give the other person some time - perhaps a few weeks - and then get back in touch on a casual basis to see if they’re still interested in your product or service. You could suggest meeting them for a coffee with no sales agenda in mind.

Being ghosted is tough, regardless of the circumstances. Remember that you’re not going to be able to get every prospective client to respond to you. Stay positive, follow these steps and with some luck you’ll be able to bring your prospect back from the spirit world!

FreeAgent’s automatic recurring invoice reminders can help chase your late-paying clients so you can spend more time speaking to prospects!

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