If you’re reading this blog it’s because someone, at some point, has said “yes please I’d love to work with you!” and then completely disappeared off the face of the planet, ignored all your messages and left you wondering: what the hell happened there?!
And I’ll happily come back and update you on the stats of how many people read this another time, but safe to say when there are 4.6 million articles for the Google search “Why Prospective Clients Are Ghosting You” you are not alone.
The problem is that when clients ghost you aka. say they’re interested and then disappear, it’s having a massive impact on your confidence and self-belief. And that is really going to affect you if you’re not in the right headspace or able see that there are a myriad of reasons it could be happening and it does not mean all the negative and wobbly things your mind is turning it into right now.
Let’s look at why prospective clients might be ghosting you which falls into two categories:
Completely taking yourself out of the equation and removing any self-blame or critique, there are several reasons someone might decide to suddenly cut communication with you:
When we look at all these possibilities it’s important to see: none of them are in your control.
Their ghosting is on them. It’s about them.
Whilst a huge part of a prospective client ghosting you is on them, there are some things that you can do that will help attract people into your world that would never ghost you and, even if they’re not going to buy, will at least have the decency to tell you.
Ask yourself these questions:
People are less likely to ghost you if they know you as a human being. They are going to treat you with more respect if you have shown up in a way that proves you are a real, feeling, thinking, interactive person, and not just a faceless ‘business’ that they would treat in the same way as they do an email or interaction with a high-street shop or supermarket.
Having a single call with them isn’t usually enough to achieve this. Yes there’s lots you can do on a discovery call to build rapport, but ultimately even after a 30-60 minute call they can still forget you quickly and not feel anything about ignoring your follow up messages.
The ideal scenario to avoid being ghosted is to have created enough content, shown your face or voice enough via social media, a podcast, videos, appearances or guest slots or at networking events, over a significant period of time, that the prospect on the call feels like they ‘know you’ before they speak to you. Even if you’ve never actually talked directly before.
One of the main problems I see with discovery calls going cold is that you’re inviting people on for a ‘chat’, instead of really being clear that the purpose of the call is to establish if they’re a good fit to join your programme or get your 1:1 support.
You want to talk to people who are ready, but have questions.
Instead you’re inviting anyone and everyone on to ‘chat’ about what you do and not being really specific about who exactly you want to speak to and what their stage of readiness is to take action and make a change. The call is (if you want to prevent ghosting) always going to be about whether they want to sign up with you, and you shouldn’t shy away from this (because it helps them!).
If people just want to chat, then there is a misalignment at the end of the call with what you both expect. You’re there thinking “hooray I’ve hit my income goal for the month – they’re going to sign up!” when you get off the call, but then that person disappears because it’s just not a priority for them and they’re not really interested in taking action to change.
If what you’re offering isn’t top of their list to address or it they’re not looking actively for something to invest in right now to solve it, they aren’t on the same timeline as you.
Being totally honest some people who book in a call with you may have booked in calls with other practitioners too. They might be shopping around.
That’s not ideal for you, particularly if they’re just looking for the cheapest deal (a definite red warning flag they’re not an ideal customer!). Because if they’re doing this then there is a high likelihood they’ll ghost you if the choice doesn’t go your way.
The way to prevent this happening and have more people call you that want you specifically, is to ensure you’re distinctive in the market place.
Being distinctive means that you’ve clearly communicated through your content, your website and whenever you speak and show up, what your values are and how the way you work is different from what else is out there.
Notice I say ‘distinctive’ and not ‘different.’ I’ve borrowed this from Becky Lloyd-Pack who is the queen of helping business owners articulate “why me?”
Sometimes we worry too much that we’re not ‘different’ – you technically cover all the same things as another Nutritionist or hypnotherapist for example. But you are, because you’re a unique human being, distinctive.
You have distinctive stories, experiences, sense of humour, tone and style of delivery. You can summarise your distinctive way of doing things in your own process or pillars if you want to convey this, maybe even as a graphic or trademarkable system.
If you are displaying and demonstrating this distinctiveness through your copy, content and presence, this makes it more compelling to say yes to working with you, rather than “oh I rang a few people, I can’t remember which one you were.”
This is a classic one and something I was reminded of by Business Systems Strategist Kate from Olivier Consultancy recently in one of her emails (read it here).
Unless you are following a clear structure for a discovery call that is designed to help you and the potential client decide whether to work together, there is a very real temptation to spend the time you have together giving them loads of tips and advice.
You should try this supplement!
Have you thought about reading this book?
Here’s the 3 steps you need to fix that!
I’ll send you on what you need and that’ll be sorted in days!
I know you want to help. I know the person on that call is asking for help. But the answer is not to overload them on a free call with all the stuff you would tell a paying client in their first few sessions with you as part of your programme.
What happens if you do this is they think “well I’ve got plenty to be getting on with here, I don’t need to book in and work with them / buy that programme.”
And usually what happens is they don’t do all those things you recommended. They just stay stuck. And you stay in the dark not knowing why they never got back to you or bought your offer.
It’s because you already gave them more than enough to start doing without the structure and accountability your offer could have provided.
Another reason I think you might get people ghosting is they’re a bit confused about what exactly it is they’re buying into.
Firstly there needs to be clarity on what the offer delivers: what problems it solves, who exactly it’s suited for and what outcomes they can expect. Do they know this? Have they read it on your sales page? Have you reiterated it on the call? Or is the change/transformation still hazy to them?
Secondly there needs to be clarity on exactly how your offer works.
I know it might be clear to you that you’ve blended together 1:1 sessions, follow ups, herbs, check-ins, supplements and resources, or whatever it is you have in your offer. But to someone else on the outside, it might be a hot-mess of information.
Similarly if the price is ambiguous or the payment plan isn’t clear, then people cannot get their heads around actually building that into their finances. And if they can’t map that out clearly and know with confidence how the payments work, then they’re not going to jump in.
I even go so far as to convert my € prices into USD or GBP for prospective clients in the relevant countries because I know that it helps them to plan out their cashflow and see the money in real terms and more readily say “hell yes”.
To be clear is to be kind.
Don’t hide the pricing, what’s included and how it works, and go above and beyond to make it super transparent what the process is. You’ll get less ghosting then.
This might sound obvious but: are they ghosting you because they don’t know what to do next?
Is it crystal clear what you are asking them to do and what you are now waiting for? Have you said:
Whatever it is you’re asking them to do, be clear. People need it written in words of one syllable. Simple and straightforward call to action, just as it is with the plan and price.
What are you wanting them to do next? If they’re not clear and you’ve left it ambiguous, it’s way easier for them to ghost you. Make it easy for them to take action, don’t leave them in confusion.
We’ve got a lot of practical reasons out the way as to why someone might be ghosting you after a seemingly positive interaction.
What we need to turn to now is how what’s going on in your head might actually be having an impact too.
If you are wildly enthusiastic, so excited to help and get started, brimming with ideas, stoked that someone so perfect has come through the door and filled with hope and positivity that things can really change for them with your help, then you are less likely to get ghosted. Because the prospective client is going to see that positivity in you and they buy into your belief.
If you fundamentally do not believe you are capable of helping this person, you are more likely to get ghosted, because that will come across to them, even at a subliminal level.
And yes, it’s totally normal to have a little note of self-doubt in there. To wobble a little and worry you won’t live up to what they’re hoping for. If they say yes.
That means you care. That means you have high standards. That means you’re going to more than deliver.
But if underlying any interaction you have with possible customers is the belief that you will disappoint and fail them, you’re going to see more ghosting. And that’s self-belief work that you need to start doing on yourself to change that.
This may sound ridiculous to finish off with, because if you’re completely flummoxed that a “yes please” has turned into a “where have you gone?!” then… of course you want that client?!
But… do you?
Sometimes taking on that client would involve (or you believe it would involve):
It’s really important to delve into whether signing up a new client is really something you want to welcome into your life and that you have the structures and support around you to make it enjoyable and fulfilling for both of you.
If there are beliefs (real or otherwise) in your mind that taking on this client will somehow be detrimental to you, then you’re going to find that’s picked up on subliminally too.
If you want supporting on ghosting prospects, and also coaching on the underlying fears and beliefs you have that get in the way of welcoming new ideal clients then doors are currently open to my Just Grow Now mastermind. Find out more here and book a call to discuss if it’s a good fit for you. Starting August 2023.
If you’re reading this and thinking “Holy crap, well I’d love to even have people calling me who ghosted me, my calendar is e-m-p-t-y right now!” then my Just Start Now course and community is where you need to begin. Find out more here or book a call with me to see if it’s the right solution to get your wellness business off the ground.