3 Steps to Revive a Distracted Prospect

Before getting a prospect to pay, first you need to get them to pay attention. However, some calls can feel less like a conversation and more like a monologue, indicating that your prospect’s pulse just flatlined. The sooner you notice it, the sooner you can react and steer the conversation back on track.

Tell signs that your prospect is mentally checked out

Your prospect doesn’t just switch off: their attention slowly dwindles until finally being put out. The best remedy is to catch it early, here are some signs that your prospect’s engagement is declining:

Whether you’re doing a call with or without video, you can always rely on verbal cues: short answers, no questions, and lack of reaction to important information are all signs you are losing the prospect’s attention.

If you’re using video, this impression can be confirmed by the prospect’s facial cues: reactions that are out of sync with the material being shown indicates that they’ve most likely turned their attention away from your presentation.

Bonjour takes the guesswork out of assessing your prospect’s engagement: a green dot visible only to you will confirm that the prospect is active on the call tab, an orange dot will signal that they’ve switched to a different tab or app, and a red dot means that they haven’t returned to the call screen in over 1 minute. So, what do you do if the dot turns red?

#1 Ask questions

No one wants to be talked to for half an hour. To maintain engagement throughout the conversation, make sure you aren’t doing all the talking. After each new piece of information you bring or each new feature you present, ask the prospect to explain the benefit. Here are a few sample questions to help get things started:

  • How is this going to help you?
  • How do you see this creating value for your team?
  • How would this make things easier considering the issues you mentioned earlier?

By doing so, you can make sure to reactivate the prospect’s engagement from start to finish and keep distractions at bay as well as make sure you’re steering the conversation in the direction that makes most sense for your prospect.

#2 Give them a jolt

If your softer approach isn’t holding the prospect’s attention, a more proactive stance can help to nudge the conversation back in the right direction. The goal here is to try to drum up some excitement, so make a short pause and – with a slightly louder voice – play on your tone as well as on your choice of words to signal that the highlight of the call is imminent:

  • And this is the most important thing I’m going to show you today.
  • Ultimately, this is what you are going to find most helpful to you.
  • And here’s the best part.

These words act like a magnet, pulling the prospect away from other competing claims to their attention.

#3 Be honest

If these tactics are still failing to capture back the prospect’s focus, a last resort is to put your cards on the table. A little bit of blunt honesty can go a long way to earning back their attention or helping you understand what is going on on their end of the call.

I feel like I don’t have your full attention, am I right?

As sales reps, this might be the question that we fear most. But whatever the answer is will be useful for the rest of the conversation:

  • First option: something happened. It could be anything from a missed call from their children’s school, a ping from their boss, to a distraction in the background of their office. Ultimately, their lack of attention is circumstantial. If the situation is bad ask if they’d prefer handle their emergency and find a different time to talk. If not, hopefully now that they’ve been made aware of it they’ll be able to refocus for the rest of the call.
  • Second option: the demo isn’t what they wanted. Great news for you too: reassess the fit and, if there is still a potential, let them take control of the call and steer the conversation to the talking points they’d prefer to have addressed at this stage. If there isn’t, you can end the call then and there saving time for both of you.

Remember, attention is a form of currency: it can be earned, it can be paid, it can be borrowed, but it can never be stolen.

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