Ghosting: (Noun) The practice of ending a relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.
Well I have seen the ghost and it is me.
If you’ve ever been in sales (and all of us are in sales) you’ve probably had this experience. You spend time with a prospective client. You demonstrate your product, you build a relationship, spend time understanding their needs and explaining your value. This back and forth feels a lot like a courtship. They laugh at their jokes and smile a lot they seem to really like you and your product. “Hey Mikey – he likes it!”
The courtship ends for the day and you go back to your office with the promise from the client “we’ll get back to you with next steps,” or “give us a few days to kick the idea around and we’ll get right back to you,” or the most promising comment of all “we’ll likely have a decision in the next few days.”
Silly you! You believed them didn’t you? You really thought they liked you and now ……… you ………. wait. Two days, three, a week and nothing. No calls, not emails, not even a text to say “hey!”
So Monday comes and you summon the courage for the call. The receptionist picks up and you trade jokes “remember me? I was the guy with the great product, the goofy smile and high hopes.” You laugh, he laughs and he says – let me put you right though to Ms. Manager.
He’s back. Oh….. Ms. Manager is in a meeting right now. Do you want her voicemail?
Disappointed, you accept the offer and leave a nervous message, trying to be friendly, funny and that same lovable salesperson they seemed to love during the demo. And then the game begins.
For the next several days, weeks and months you reach out, call, and you send emails. You think seriously about dropping by and sitting in the lobby but you don’t because you are oh, so sad and so completely dejected.
And this is how many sales opportunities end. With broken hearts and wasted samples, dashed expectations and lowered self-esteem, and prospects of mac n’ cheese dinners for a few more months.
And then, when you least expect it, the phone rings!!
Now you wanna be cool so you make sure to let it ring once or twice to not appear to be too eager so you practice your smiley face in that mirror you keep on your desk. You don’t even notice the call display.
Hello? Can I help you?? ………. But it’s not Ms. Manager or that other client who’s been ghosting you or the other one.
Instead, it’s that annoying sales guy who gave you that copier demo six months ago. He wanted to show you a new office copier that you really didn’t want to buy but you took the demo because you had time to kill. You just didn’t have the heart to tell the guy that you had no interest.
That crazy guy! You haven’t been returning his calls for months but he just doesn’t give up. Get a life will ya?