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When is Enough, Enough? Top 5 Signs That It’s Probably Time to Walk Away!

Has this ever happened to you?  Your prospect asks for information, and they never respond to your follow-up calls or emails. Or, even worse, a hot prospect agrees that a membership would be good for their business, then out of nowhere, they inexplicably go underground, and you never hear back from them again.

Maybe you have prospects who won’t open up and share what they are thinking. And other prospects who gladly chat with you and take up your time, but just won’t commit.

At Holman Brothers we help our chamber clients overcome challenges like these every day. And they save a lot of sales. But still, sometimes the best advice is to just walk away. So, here are our top 5 signs that it’s probably time to walk away and focus your time on more promising recruiting opportunities.

The Top 5 Signs That It’s Probably Time to Walk Away!

1. Not open to sharing information. When prospective members willingly answer questions you learn about their company, circumstances and pain points.  An open exchange allows you and your prospect to determine how to move forward if there’s a fit. If your prospect won’t open up no matter how hard you try, it’s likely time to move on to more promising opportunities.

2. Unrealistic requests or demands. Your prospect will join if… You give them a speaking opportunity. You throw in an expo booth or tickets to an event. You provide a discount or a free membership upgrade. Sorry, but offering prospects more value than your current members receive is bound to backfire eventually. When you're faced with demands that are clearly unreasonable, your best move is to walk away.  

3. Unwilling to engage. Unfortunately, some prospects aren’t comfortable saying they aren’t interested. So, they avoid you. When a prospect goes into hiding, you have to cut bait at some point. We typically recommend four or five unrewarded follow-ups as the point to move on. We reason that three follow-ups isn’t always enough, but anything over five has the potential to cause animosity. It’s better to maintain any goodwill you created up to this point.  

4. Won’t Commit. Beware of prospects who will readily talk to you, but always put off taking the ultimate step. They say things like, “I’m still interested, but the timing isn’t good right now.”  Or repeatedly ask you to get back to them next week/month/quarter. Trust your gut – if you suspect that a prospect will continue to lead you on, walk away and preserve your energy for more serious membership candidates.

5. The Fit Isn’t Right. Sometimes in the course of follow-up, you may suspect that a prospect’s needs or expectations just can’t be met. You may also come to the realization that your chamber’s offerings aren't a good fit for some prospects. Either way, you aren’t likely talking to someone who will become a satisfied long-term member. Even when you can easily make the sale, you have to be willing to walk away when the fit isn’t right.


It’s Difficult, But Worth It In the Long Run

Walking away from a prospect is among the toughest things for membership professionals. It means you’ll have nothing to show for the time and energy you invested. However, if your instincts tell you it’s the right thing to do, it probably is. In the long run, learning when to walk away will make you far more efficient and you’ll get far better results focusing your energy on prospects with a higher probability of joining.

If you have questions about when it's time to walk away or other membership recruitment and retention issues, get in touch. We’re easy to talk to, and we want to help.

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