Eliminate Ghosting-Engaging with Decision-Makers
What we think | CXO Sales Playbook-Venkat’s Blog

Eliminate Ghosting: Engaging with Decision-Makers Till You Seal the Deal!

- Venkataraman Subramanyan

In the high-stakes world of sales, one of the most frustrating and disheartening obstacles you may encounter is the phenomenon of “ghosting.”

This term, often used in the context of personal relationships, refers to a situation where a customer suddenly ceases communication and becomes unresponsive after the initial engagement. 

In some “polite” cases, they will entertain you, but there will be no progress.

Has this happened to you?

Today, let’s navigate three typical situations where a potential deal might go cold and arm you with strategies to ensure it doesn’t happen.

Let’s get started…

Situation #1: Silence After Sending a Proposal

You’ve put in late nights fine-tuning a proposal. 

You hit ‘send’, expecting a prompt response.

Instead, silence greets you. 

It is important to understand that good customer engagement skills are not a substitute for poor selling skills. 

Don’t rush into a building and submit a proposal. 

Always ensure a modicum of reciprocity with your customer.

If there is no reciprocity, then there is a possibility that your proposal will end up in what we call the “column fodder”. 

Engage in a conversation about their next steps, such as scheduling a follow-up meeting to discuss the proposal, or setting a specific deadline for a response.

Ask them – What specific actions will be taken on their end if you send a proposal? 

What criteria would they apply to evaluate it? 

How would they choose between competing submissions?

This approach not only helps to create a sense of mutual commitment but also reduces the likelihood of your proposal being used merely for comparison purposes with other vendors.

Situation #2: The Disappearing Act After a Demo or POC

You’ve given it your all during the POC. 

The client seemed very interested, their last words were, “We’ll be in touch,” and that callback hasn’t come yet.

Before doing a proof of concept, it’s key to gain clarity on the following:

What specific outcomes is your customer expecting from your PoC?

How will those outcomes show up on their measurable business results?

Who are the key stakeholders and what are their criteria for success and decision-making? 

Always remember: Never make a deal needlessly more expensive by investing in PoCs, whose criteria for evaluation are unknown.

Fully understand all the key elements of the customer’s evaluation criteria before you jump in and commit to a POC.

Situation #3: Multiple Engagements, Zero Forward Movement

At times, sales takes up a lot of time and resources – office visits, international client meetings, and fancy dinners. 

You go through different scenarios and gain the confidence of the customer, you also see them giving you their best attention.

Despite these positive interactions, progress grinds to a halt once everyone returns home.

I tell salespeople that they should build what I call a customer scenario prioritization sheet, where you list out all the scenarios that are most important for the customer and get them prioritized by the customer.

Think deeply and fill that sheet with all the business outcomes that are important to your customer and how your offerings will make that possible. 

You must be able to connect the dots between your efforts, their experiences, and their outcomes.

The ‘cost of change’ has to be lesser than the ‘cost of the same’, only then the customer will proactively engage with you. 

To conclude, 

  • You should never make a deal needlessly more expensive, in terms of time, energy, money, and scope.
  • Good customer engagement skills are never a substitute for poor selling skills.
  • Never do something for nothing.


If this was helpful, 

Take the Deal Review Quiz

Drawing from our work with multiple Fortune 500 clients, It’ll give you the exact probability of winning your deal & highlight specific areas of risk and concern – in under 90 seconds.

Review Our Clients & Case Studies

We’ve coached the sales teams of Fortune 500 & 100 companies such as Microsoft, SAP and more.

Next Step 

Subscribe to the CXO Sales Playbook Newsletter.

Every Friday morning, I’ll email you 1 actionable tip to get your sales teams to overdeliver. (other benefits include a big bonus and company-wide recognition :). 

Join The Tribe

Venkataraman Subramanyan is a Global Leadership Development Expert & Sales Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of Tripura Multinational. Venkat’s mission is to touch and transform a hundred million lives by 2025, and a billion lives by 2030. With over 30 years of experience, Venkat is passionate about 2 things – Leadership Transformation and Sales Acceleration. His trademarked deal qualification framework is licensed worldwide by organizations and filters over $3Billion in deals annually. He is an accredited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Tripura Multinational is a dynamic sales organization dedicated to empowering sales professionals and organizations to achieve unparalleled success. Originally established as a platform to address skill gaps in the sales industry, Tripura has evolved into a multi-faceted entity that offers comprehensive engagements for Sales Managers and Sales Leaders. Through the transformative power of Sales Coaching, Tripura enables sales organizations to elevate their performance from good to great and ultimately reach a world-class level. Our approach focuses on optimizing sales skills, management expertise, and leadership capabilities, helping clients plan more effectively, qualify leads better, orchestrate sales processes seamlessly, and expand their business with confidence. 

Our organisation is the trusted choice of market leaders across various industries and segments, relying on our expertise to elevate their performance to new heights. Recognized for our ability to enhance excellence, we are entrusted with the task of making the client’s best even better.

Share this post!


You might also be interested in the below topics

Be the first to get your hands on our insights to achieve more.​