You get the brief and you are 100% sure that you’re going to kill it.
You put in everything to create a fantastic pitch deck and you prepare over and over to kill it during your pitch.
D-day comes and although things don’t go as planned, you are confident that you blew the client’s mind away. You remember the nods of approval and the excitement in their eyes.
“We have this in the bag,” you tell yourself.
And so, you wait for the good news – to know when the engagement contract will be signed and execution will kick off.
And you wait. And wait some more.
Now you’re confused…”I thought we gave this client what they wanted? Why have they gone silent all of a sudden?”
If you’ve ever been in this situation where you were ghosted after a pitch, you’ll agree with us that it hurts. Where do we start from? The time and effort you put into it? The mind-blowing ideas you came up with? Or the hope that this might just be the big break you or your company needs?
Being ghosted is hardly ever nice but it’s something that happens more frequently than we care to admit. When this happens to you, don’t be too hard on yourself. Here’s what you should do instead:
What looks or feels like ghosting to you may simply be part of the waiting game. We encourage you not to give up immediately. And please resist the urge to send an angry email after the first few days of silence. Give it 10-14 days, then send a follow up email to the client to find out the reason for their silence. Be kind and give the benefit of the doubt if you’re not sure.
Try a different mode of communication.
If your follow-up email gets ignored too, it may be time to use a different tactic. If you can, find someone on the inside who can be upfront with you. This is where building rapport with the client’s team is helpful. You can also decide to have a conversation with the key contact person over the phone to get answers. Do we advise you to go to the client’s office unannounced to demand feedback? We’d say think carefully before you use this option. It may or may not go well. You don’t want to look like a stalker.
Know when to move on
If after all your attempts to reach out and follow up nothing has changed, it just might be time for you to move on from this client. There are times internal constraints prevent a client from moving forward after a pitch. Of course, they should ideally communicate this but many don’t. They’d later resurface when they are ready. Other times, they want to go with someone else but want to avoid the discomfort of breaking the news to you. Whatever the case, it’s good to know when to move on. Before you do, run through the pitch again and try to identify things you could have done better/ areas where you and your team can improve on. This will help you in your next pitch.
Don’t brood over being ghosted for too long because there are many more amazing clients who want to work with you.