What to Do When You Can’t Get the Prospect to Call Back

Let’s say that you’ve talked to this prospect at least once before, and he showed some interest.

But when you call back, again, and again, he isn’t returning your call. What do you do?

Here’s the step by step easy way to get prospects calling you back.

Does this happen far too often?

Does it hapen, maybe, on 50% of your follow-up calls, 75%, or more? If it does, you’ve got a problem. Time to eliminate it right?

Imagine suddenly, instead of getting half or more of your prospects not EVER allowing you through after the first call, now most, if not all, of them return your call excitedly. Let’s see if half at least carry on the next series of calls, wouldn’t that double your business right now. Or if it was 75% to 90%, at 90% that would be 10 times more sales than you have now, right?

This might be something that we have to fix right away, right?

Of course, it could be that he’s busy, that’s true. But after several more calls, that excuse you’ve told yourself starts to look pretty unacceptable, right?

So what do you do when they won’t return the call?

Been hearing some of you talking that even after talking with a prospect and getting what sounded like an open door to move forward, that, from that point on, they don’t even return your follow-up calls.

Look inward. It’s probably your fault for not establishing value, not getting them excited and emotional about what you bring to the table. It might even be what you are saying when you do call. And, of course, it may take a lot more calls as I mentioned in the email on follow-up calls yesterday.

But, you say . . . since they won’t return the calls, how in the world can I even do an effective follow-up?

Let’s go back to how you set this thing up in the first place, and the thoughts you left him with, and, of course, what that “marketing message” that you leave on their answering machine.

What did you set up in the first place?

When you last talked did you use the process of the first call that I mentioned in the email yesterday? Basically did you build up the desire for the dream to a crescendo, leaving him emotionally at an “Oh my god, how can I convince you to help me?”  And what was that value?

Did you challenge him to REACH further than his dream, lots further, while making sure emotionally he’s saying to himself,  and you,  “Wow, I can’t wait.”

Did you leave him FEELING the PAIN of his problem, bringing his emotion of fear and pain to  a level  where he says, “I can’t stand it any longer.”

Did you leave him with an awareness that he certainly hasn’t been able to do this on his own, nor has any other consultant/coach been able to do it before, but what you have has actually helped lots of people just like him.

And, obviously, now that you are having to make that follow up call, he didn’t bite right off the bat. So did you leave him with a thought, “it’s costing me this $X every day that I don’t resolve it” and a date that he would have resolved it. So, your return call is one of concern, and an offer to help, not an attempt to “make a sale”.

Leaving an answering machine message that you were calling to see how he’s doing toward achieving his goal of _________ (his dream, and the value of that dream in dollars and cents), and the cost to him of $Y for every day that he doesn’t get it resolved.

So,, you are calling him, like you’d call your best friend, concern, and you are calling to see if he’s gotten there, and an offer to help him get those (list the goals).

In other words, if you call him as “Hi, this is Acme Coaching where you attended that workshop. Just following up on that.” That’s about you, not about them. More often than not, even if you got a positive response during your live appointment, you won’t get a call back from this message.”

During that first appointment, is it possible that you got a sales objection that you did not resolve then and there?

If you did, and didn’t resolve it, you were dead in the water for any future follow-up calls, but you might not have realized it.

 Read my articles on “handling sales objections” to dive in more thoroughly. But in the meantime I’ll summarize.

  1.  Agree with what they say, NEVER argue your point.
  2. Clarify — ask them what they REALLY want, not what they just said in opposition to something you said.
  3. Give them a story, about how a client once said that they said and believed exactly that, and when they followed your process, bingo. They didn’t just stay where they were they multiplied (whatever) to a new level (give them the measurable target, the value).
  4. And then ask them if they wanted (what you just clarified as the bottom line goal), would they want what the client in that story got?

Let’s use an example that we all have run into, such as “that’s too expensive”, whether it was verbally stated, or whether you sense they are just holding back.


George, believe me, I’m the first to agree with you that I don’t want to spend that much money, especially on the wrong thing, and in this economy when money seems to be flowing out wildly. Does it seem to be slipping out the door?

In fact, didn’t you say something earlier about how your business just isn’t making enough to pay all of the bills?

We just connected with him at his core

If we had responded with “Yes, but . . . “, or gave them a “reason” they were wrong and we were right, that usually only antagonizes the original situation which was a disagreement.

So, AGREE. No matter what he says, find a way to agree, or sympathize.

Some potential objections could be

1) It costs too much.

Possible Reply: It’s important to be frugal in times like these. I watch my p’s and q’s myself.  

2) Don’t have the money right now.

Possible Reply: In times like these, the smartest people watch their money carefully.

3)      Don’t have the time, too busy.

Possible Reply: Most of my clients are VERY busy people, and are setting priorities very carefully.

4)      I’ve hired consultants/coaches before, and it didn’t work then either.

Possible Reply: I understand. In fact, I hear all of the time about how some of the consultants out there aren’t delivering. It pays to be choosy when selecting a SUCCESSFUL coach.

 By the way, this sales objection process isn’t about learning a script. That’s too hard to remember every possible sales objection and it’s potentially reply. In fact, every situation you are in will require that you handle the actually underlying belief and responding with a script frequently won’t deal with the real underlying issue. Just remember the 4-5 step process, Agree, clarify, tell a story, and lead them to getting what they actually want. Do not argue or attempt to justify your position. The process will not argue with them but will comfortably lead them to get what they REALLY want with your help.


The idea with the clarify step is that instead of arguing you help them realize, with a question as to what they really want. Most times the very thing they believe they SHOULD be doing, such as not spending, is actually the very thing holding them back. If they don’t spend on the right things then they don’t move forward.

However, most of us have a real drive to help them by saying “Yes, but . . . “ and then give them our justification of the proper path. But that will almost always create an adversarial situation.

Here’s how we might use the examples we started with.

1)      It costs too much.

We just agreed with them, “It pays to be frugal in times like these. I am too.”

Clarify – Tell me, which is  more important to you, not spending while saving as much as you can, or “generating 10 times more than you are making now?”

2)      Don’t have the money right now.

Clarify: Same answer as above.

3)      Don’t have the time, too busy.

Clarify: I understand that your business really keeps you hoping. If you could actually reduce the amount of time you now spend working on your business while increasing your income, would that be of interest?

4)      I’ve hired consultants/coaches before, and it didn’t work then either.

Clarify: Can you share with me what happened with these other consultants? 

NOTE: You will find that most of your competition doesn’t get results. So EXPECT this whether you hear them verbally share it or not. Even when they don’t say it, they have a hesitation to hire because either they’ve experienced it, or they’ve gotten lots of calls from consultants/coaches that give them lots of hype. Your job is to ask questions until you get the trigger that really p..sses them off. Now you have the very trigger to flip it the other direction when you show them why you do it another way, or how your clients have gotten results that others couldn’t deliver.

But don’t argue. Lead by asking questions.

Share a Client’s Story and Progress

I’m not going to give examples here. These should be your stories of when a client said exactly the same thing, and got this kind of measurable result, a VALUE in dollars and cents.

Wouldn’t You Like to Have THAT

The last step in the sales objection process is getting them to agree that whatever you clarified they REALLY wanted, and asking if they’d want what your client got. Would they do almost anything to get that.

You said that you’d like to __________ (from the clarify step). If you could have ‑_________ just like ___________ (the client’s story), and actually have it guaranteed, would you want that?

If you could get that MUCH what would that do for you? And listen very intently. Build on his excitement, his emotions. Remember, emotions close the deal, not logic.

More than one objection . . . Almost Always

There will almost always be more than one objection even if it isn’t verbally stated. Therefore, it’s up to you to keep asking questions such as:

If you got that exactly that way (referring to the above step) is there any other thing that would hold you back from making the decision to >>>>> (get the dollars we mentioned above)?

Ask that over and over until they say, “Gee if I COULD get THAT, I see no reason not to move forward today. Let’s go.”

Coaches/Consultants Afraid to Ask If There Is a Reason They Won’t Move Forward

Far too many coaches/consultants are afraid to ask those questions. In their fear that they are going to get a no, they think that by asking the tough questions that they are “putting some doubt” into their prospect’s heads.

Just realize that the doubts are already there, and that’s why you don’t get return calls. If they don’t return a call, or go ahead and buy NOW, it’s because that doubt is already there and you haven’t answered the question that removes that doubt.

It’s your fault when they don’t return calls. You haven’t answered their doubts, or haven’t built their desires to the level of compelling desire.

Alan Boyer

Helping coaches, consultants, trainers reach another $100K to $1M within months and to stop playing in the kiddie pool when it comes to acquiring new clients.





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