How to Avoid Getting Ghosted? Tips and Templates to Reengage Leads Gone Dark

How to Avoid Getting Ghosted? Tips and Templates to Reengage Leads Gone Dark

There’s a good reason why a sales funnel is called… well, a funnel. Closing 100% of all leads that end up in your CRM is nothing short of supernatural. 

And if you can resolve some of the leads (usually the ones that are disqualified or decide to go with a competitor) as “closed/lost,” there are always a few who will simply go dark, joining the “ghosted” folder. And it’s totally normal, as long as you keep the number of those unresolved leads reasonable.

However, if your CRM looks like a haunted house in a horror movie, there’s clearly a problem. But don’t rush calling Ghostbusters — you can still bring back to life at least some of those opportunities. In this post, I will share some of the tips and templates to reengage with leads who have gone dark (no Ouija board required).

What does ghosting mean in sales?

Here’s a situation salespeople know all too well. A perfectly engaged prospect, the one you’ve connected with and even had a chance to talk to once or twice, suddenly stops responding to your emails. You’re sending follow-ups, leaving voicemails, and even shooting messages on social media, but it’s crickets on the other end. Yep, you’ve been ghosted!

In sales, it’s called “ghosting” — abruptly ending a relationship or communication with someone without any explanation. This can include ignoring emails, not returning phone calls, or not replying to messages on social media or other communication platforms.

A term primarily used to refer to a practice in personal communication (especially online dating), ghosting is also very common in sales — inbound as well as outbound.

3 reasons prospects go dark (and 3 ways to prevent that)

Ghosting in sales, just like demo no-shows, can happen for a number of reasons. You can influence and prevent some of them, while others have nothing to do with you (and everything — with the prospects or circumstances beyond your control). 

For example, there’s not much you can do in case a prospect is laid off by the company except to ask for a different point of contact. However, there are certain problems you can mitigate to avoid getting ghosted, like

  • lack of qualification process on your side or poor ICP fit,
  • the problem you solve not being a priority for them (or they are currently strapped for time/resources),
  • competition, i.e., the prospect or their team decided to go with another provider.

These 3 potential reasons for ghosting are mostly on you, especially the first one. The solutions are pretty obvious — thorough prospect research, clear value proposition, and undeniably unique selling points communicated early on in the engagement process.

However, there will also be situations when prospects just go dark for no apparent reason. In this case, here are a few other things you can do to stay on their radar.

  1. Connect across multiple channels — email, phone, social media, etc. After all, emails are pretty easy to ignore, unlike phone calls or texts.
  2. Check in regularly to avoid any pauses in the buyer’s journey. Lay out the next steps after every touchpoint and make use of guided selling techniques and tools. 
  3. Pay attention to the red flags, either verbal or nonverbal. Emotional intelligence and a basic understanding of human psychology might be especially useful here.

One important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t be aggressive or annoying when trying to stay on the radar. No need for daily follow-ups or check-in calls when you have nothing specific to share or discuss. Don’t be a stalker.

Also, let your prospects know it’s okay to say no — be respectful of your own time and know when a lead isn’t worth chasing. After all, hearing a no is better than being ghosted.

How to bring your “ghosted” leads back to life?

Okay, so you’ve been ghosted. Now what? First of all, don’t take it personally. Second, try reconnecting with your prospects. The key here is to be pleasantly persistent — not pushy or intrusive, but genuinely interested in your communication. 

Here are some practical tips on how to reengage cold leads.

Add value

The #1 rule in the book about effective follow-ups, this is also a great starting point for your attempts to reestablish a connection with unresponsive prospects. While it might seem like bribery, giving before you actually ask for anything is a valid tactic for sales communications. 

As Shari Levitin put it, “There are two things you need to be a trusted advisor: Trust and advice. If you don’t have advice, you’re not a trusted advisor!” 

So make sure to bring some value to the table when you follow up with a prospect. This can be an interesting article, an industry report, or an insight — something they can actually use or benefit from.

Looking for more ideas? Here you go!

  • Send a relevant industry case study or research to highlight the common problems (which they might not have faced yet) and how you can help.
  • Share the recent product updates with features they’ve requested (this is an especially great tactic to reengage old leads).
  • Include a few extra value-adds to reinforce the initial product offering. This doesn’t have to be a discount, but rather a nice complementary tool or service (explore more added value growth tactics here).

I also know that some sales teams offer Amazon gift cards or physical goods to entice the prospects. But I would only recommend this tactic for top-priority opportunities, as a last resort when you’ve already tried everything else (unless you have some spare cash to burn).

Try multithreading

Multithreading in sales generally means having a few points of contact within a target company. This is something we practice for our account-based sales outreach with the 5/2 rule — trying to connect with 5 people within the same company, 2 of which are the decision makers with the purchasing power. 

So when one person suddenly goes dark, try to look up more points of contact at the company. Your previous connection with their colleague can serve as a valid reason for outreach significantly increasing your chances to hear back.

If you think it’s disrespectful to your initial contact, Michael Hanson has a perfect response to that: “If your champion is ghosting you for over a week, then you have every right to contact their colleagues or boss. Those deals are effectively on hold or dead, so contacting other stakeholders is the only way you will revive those deals or shorten your sales cycles.”

Similarly, you can switch the channels or timing for your follow-ups to catch the prospect off guard and win back their attention. This doesn’t mean you should call the prospect from a different number on Sunday morning, but leaving a few meaningful comments under their posts or tagging them in a relevant conversation on social media might do the trick.

Getting Started With Account-Based Sales – a Practical Guide

Being able to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message is crucial to close high-ticket opportunities.

This guide will help you build an effective account-based sales strategy to get sustainable pipeline growth, and as a result, more won deals.

Get creative 

If we’re talking about creative ways to catch the prospect’s attention, visual prospecting is an easy but effective way to do that. Adding a short video to your follow-up message or sending a funny meme/GIF can do wonders when trying to reengage your leads. 

Integrating humor into your sales communications is a great way to build personal relationships. Take for example this amazing follow-up tactic by Alan Ruchtein:

The main reason this email is effective is that it makes it easier for recipients to answer by offering a few options to choose from. A dash of humor (option #3), according to Alan, “will make them either laugh or get angry. One way or another, the emotion will make them answer you, most of the time.”

And even if the prospect doesn’t appreciate your creativity and you get an angry reply — that’s still better than no response at all! Based on the message you can decide if the prospect is worth pursuing further or you can safely close the conversation. 

Ready to take a risk and bet it all on creativity? Try a unique idea by Jonathan (“JD”) Darling which involves a video, some crafting, and a handwritten note!

Be genuine 

I know what you might be thinking: Sales conversations aren’t the best place to practice radical honesty. However, being straightforward (even if it means showing your vulnerability) is a nice tactic to add a human touch to your relationships with prospects and reengage those who are ghosting you.

For example, Vin Matano suggests using this quick note to humanize the sales process and put your ask front and center:

This straightforward question makes it easy for the prospect to give you a short answer, without trying to make them feel bad.

For those of you who want to try this approach, Josh Braun shares his list of “phrases that lower sales pressure so prospects give you more truth,” including:

  • You’re in control of this decision, and I’m here to support you.
  • There’s no rush or obligation. We can proceed at your pace.
  • Take all the time you need to make an informed choice.
  • I won’t chase you down the street if you say no.
  • Feel free to hit the eject button anytime.

This is a great way to show them that you respect their decisions and also value your own time (probably more than they do). 

Reiterate

Revisiting lost or stalled opportunities is one of the proven ways to get a few more calls every month. The same goes for the ones who ghost you, even if it’s been a while since your last contact. There are two ways to do that.

You can try to reiterate your discovery with the prospect, as explained by Morgan J Ingram. To do that, send them an email (text-based or with a short video) where you lay out what you’ve discussed or learned about the prospect and their business needs/goals earlier and ask, “Is this still accurate?” This simple tactic allows you to get on the same page with the prospect and give it a second try.

Another approach here is to check in with the leads who have gone dark a while ago and ask for their honest feedback. According to Josh Braun, a direct phone call might be the best channel for this conversation. Here’s a short script he shares:

Without the ​​pressure to buy, prospects often lower their guard and will be more candid, telling you about the real reasons they’ve gone dark or maybe even showing interest in reconsidering your offer (which Josh brilliantly demonstrates in the video).

5 proven templates to reengage stale opportunities

In addition to a few follow-up examples we’ve shared above, here are some proven templates that can help you reengage with leads, be it a prospect ghosting you, a stale opportunity, churned product trial leads, or a demo no-show.

Explore our full collection of 100+ battle-tested email templates to meet all your business communication needs.

Get more templates

{{Company}} – {{Your_Company}}. Concerning your account

Hi {{FirstName}}.

It’s {{Your_Name}} with {{Your_Company}}.
I’m writing to you because I noticed that you spoke with my colleagues some time ago regarding using {{Your_Company}} at {{Company}}.

I’m not sure if your team has already adopted something for [Problem They Face], but how about a quick walk-through of how {{Your_Company}} can help [Problem You Solve].

Worth re-exploring in {{quarter_from_now 1}} {{now_year}}?
Either way, have a wonderful {{today}}.

Template to reengage stale opportunities

{{Company}} x {{Your_Company}} ({{now_quarter}} reconnect?)

Hi {{FirstName}},

{{Your_Name}} from {{Your_Company}} here – [Your brief value proposition].

I’m writing to you because I noticed that you had been researching {{Your_Company}} for {{Company}}.

I’m not sure if your team has already adopted something for [Problem They Face], but how about a quick walk-through of how {{Your_Company}} can help [Problem You Solve].

Worth re-exploring how {{Your_Company}} can help your {{Department}} team have a great {{quarter_from_now 1}} {{now_year}}?
Either way, have a wonderful {{today}}

Template to reengage leads who didn’t buy before

{{Company}} x {{Your_Company}} ({{now_quarter}} reconnect?)

{{Greeting | ‘Hi’}}, {{FirstName}}!

Hope {{quarter_from_now -1}} finished successfully for you{{#if Title}} as {{Title}}{{else}}{{/if}}. I’m sure your {{Department | ‘sales’}} team is on fire!

I noticed that recently you spoke with one of my colleagues regarding potentially adopting Reply.io at {{Company}}. So, I’m reaching out to you again because something tells me we can help {{Company}}’s {{Department | ‘sales’}} team {{Reply_Benefit | ‘sell’}} more in {{quarter_from_now 1}}.

I believe sharing our insights and expertise is worth 15 minutes of your time.

Template to reengage product trials

Hi {{FirstName}},

Thank you for your interest in {{Your_Company}}.

I’m sorry we were not able to connect for our scheduled call. If there is still interest in further evaluation of our platform, please reschedule our call for a time that works best for you.

I look forward to connecting and any opportunity to be of assistance.

Kind regards,

Template to reengage demo no-shows

{{Company}} {{Your_company}}

Hi {{FirstName}}.

{{Your_Name}} from {{Your_Company}} here.

I noticed that you recently canceled your subscription of {{Your_Company}}. As the [Your Job Title], I would love to understand why you are looking to leave or simply receive some feedback about your experience.

I would be happy to jump on a call at your convenience or you can simply email me back your raw feedback.

Template to reengage churned customers

Pro tip: Speaking of the templates and messaging for reaching out to a prospect who has gone silent, this is by far the only situation where you can and actually should start your email with “I hope everything’s okay” because it might not be okay on their end.

Wrapping up

With the holiday season around the corner, the number of leads who vanish into thin air might increase. But don’t panic — these tactics and templates will help you breathe life back into your sales pipeline.

With some persistence, creativity, and a dash of humor, you’ll be well on your way to turning those ghostly prospects into loyal customers.

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