We’ve all got zombie leads. These are people we’ve quoted who haven't said yes. They haven’t said no either. Instead they’re ignoring us - our emails go unanswered and they’re always too busy to talk.
We don’t want to let these zombie leads go because at one stage they looked promising. We’ve invested time into understanding their needs and preparing a proposal. If we give up now that work is wasted. And, what if we give up too soon? We’ve all read stories of the salesman who kept knocking for years till he finally landed the big one.
But zombie leads are psychic baggage. They take up time and attention. They’re a constant reminder of your failure to close the deal. You’ve got to get them out of your head space.
I go zombie hunting on Wednesday afternoons.
I chose Wednesday afternoon because I race my catamaran on Wednesday evenings.
Zombie hunting is my last task before heading down to the dinghy park to rig the boat. After that I’m going to get on the water for an hour’s pre-race practice or high-speed blasting. There is nothing like hanging out on a trapeze at 20 knots to make you forget the pain of non-responsive prospects.
How do you identify a zombie lead?
In my case it takes more than a shuffling walk and vacant eyes to get classified as a zombie lead. My sales process is:
One or more calls or online meetings to work out what the prospect hopes to achieve, and make sure my service is a good fit for their business.
After that I'll send a proposal or quote by email and follow up with a call to make sure they've received it.
I also send 5 automatic follow-up emails spaced over a month.
If you still haven't responded after all this effort you're undead to me.
I send one last email before archiving zombies forever. It normally gets a response, and sometimes it brings a deal back to life.
I store the email template in ‘canned responses’ in Gmail so I don't have to type it from scratch every time. You could copy paste from a text file if your email system doesn’t have a similar feature.
Here's the template.
Dear [first name].
A while ago you were interested in [service]. Is this still a priority?
If it's not can I trouble you to let me know so I can take it off my list. Otherwise, what can I do to make it happen?
Best wishes etc
It gives context by reminding the person who you are and why you’re emailing. It has clear instructions for what to do next.
Once I’ve sent this to the zombies I can go sailing with a clear conscience knowing that I’ve done all I can to help these prospective clients.
You’re welcome to copy my template. Let me know what your results are.