Ghosting is for Rookies: Mastering the Multi-Channel Sales Follow-Up

Ghosting is for Rookies: Mastering the Multi-Channel Sales Follow-Up

Ever poured effort into a pitch, crafted that perfect follow-up email, even had a promising call… only to be met with radio silence?  In the B2B sales world, prospects going cold is frustratingly common. But don’t mistake ghosting for disinterest.  The right follow-up strategy can reignite conversations, and ultimately, close more deals.

Read our blog post on writing an email 

Why the ‘One and Done’ Approach Fails

If you send an email or leave one voicemail and give up, you’re essentially throwing darts blindfolded and hoping you accidentally hit the bullseye. Today’s decision-makers are inundated with messages, and it’s easy to get lost in the noise. Here’s why persistence, done strategically, is key:

  • Timing: Your brilliant initial email might have arrived while they were on vacation, swamped with a project, or putting out a figurative fire.
  • Changing Priorities: What felt urgent a week ago may be overshadowed by a new issue today. By staying present, you increase your odds of catching them at the right moment.
  • Busy Doesn’t Mean “No”: Even decision-makers who are genuinely interested can get distracted. A gentle nudge may be all they need to re-engage.

The Art of the Follow-Up: Finding the Balance

Persistence is vital, but being annoying is a guaranteed deal killer. So how do you thread that needle?

  1. Spacing Matters: Bombarding someone daily turns you into spam. Start with 3-5 days between attempts, and gradually lengthen this if there’s no response.
  2. Add Value, DON’T Just Check In:  “Just following up” emails are pointless. Instead:
    • Share Relevant Content: An article about an industry trend, a new case study… position yourself as a helpful resource, not a pest.
    • Time-Sensitive Offers: Limited-time discounts or demos can create urgency.
    • Social Proof: Did a similar client see great results? Share a quick, anonymized win.
  3. Mix Up Your Channels:  Don’t just rely on email. Consider:
    • LinkedIn: A short, personalized message referencing your previous interaction can work wonders.
    • Voicemail (Sparingly!): Leave one concise message, focusing on the value you offer, not on guilting them for not replying
    • Text (If Appropriate): This depends on the relationship, but can be surprisingly effective for quick reconnecting
  4. Know When to Fold:  There’s persistence, and then there’s stalking. If after 7-8 touchpoints across multiple channels you get zero response, it might be time to move on.

Bonus Tip: Personalization is King

Mass blasts disguised as “follow-up” are rarely successful.  Take the time to personalize every interaction:

  • Reference the Previous Conversation: Did they ask a question? Show you were paying attention by addressing it thoughtfully.
  • Use Their Name: This seems basic, but far too many sales emails are generic enough to have been sent to anyone.
  • Research Their Company: A recent news announcement, LinkedIn update, etc., shows you’re invested in their specific needs.

The Tech Factor: Automation vs. Human Touch

Sales automation tools can streamline a multi-channel follow-up cadence. BUT, they should never replace that human element:

  • Start with Templates, then Edit: Saves time, but make sure each message has a unique twist to avoid that “copy-paste” vibe.
  • Track Responses: If they react to one channel more than another, focus your future efforts there.
  • Don’t Automate the Initial Outreach: That first contact should be tailored, showing your research into their specific needs.

Case Study (Simplified)

Mid-market software company was struggling with stalled leads. After implementing a consistent follow-up strategy, they saw:

  • 30% increase in resurrected conversations
  • More demos booked directly through LinkedIn follow-up messages
  • Shorter sales cycle as engaged leads re-entered the process

Final Takeaway:

In B2B sales, ghosting often isn’t a rejection, but a symptom of a busy world.  By crafting valuable, personalized follow-ups with the right timing and a multi-channel approach, you’ll transform those disappearing prospects into profitable closed deals.

Let’s Get Practical

Feeling overwhelmed by the follow-up process?  I can help you design a tailored strategy that balances automation with the human touch, and train your team to execute it effectively.