You’ve taken the appropriate steps of researching your target market, identifying a potential client with a gap you can deliver to, and delving into their industry, competitors, ongoing projects and key decision-makers.
While fully informed, you’ve reached out, introducing yourself, what you do and how you can help. Your efforts pay off as they’ve responded promptly, asking a few curious questions and are happy to meet with you.
You’ve had a great meeting, established how you can help, arranged the following steps and left the meeting feeling optimistic.
You then follow up to ask when they are available next and receive no response. Despite your best intentions and professional conduct, the sound of silence echoes back.
You understand they may be busy and have yet to get back to you, so wait a couple of weeks and try again. Still, nothing.
If you’ve done everything by the book, their silence does not reflect your efforts or abilities.
It can be a bitter pill to swallow, but sometimes people change their minds or circumstances change. It could be budget constraints, timing, internal issues, or they’ve stayed with the incumbent or gone with another provider. Despite your best efforts, things don’t always go as planned.
What Can You Do?
Refrain from pushing for a response. Instead, recognise that you need to walk away. In business development, we are known for our tenacity, refusing to accept the initial rejection and always striving to find a way to deliver.
We are persistent. Yet, there are instances when it becomes necessary to step away, allowing you to focus on working with individuals and businesses who will genuinely value and benefit from your solution.
As much as you meticulously plan and prepare, you cannot control when potential clients don’t respond. We’ve all been there, and it’s a fact of life in business development. It is important to remain honest and maintain a streamlined pipeline focused solely on genuine opportunities.