The Coma Call – Sales eXchange 1841

By Tibor Shanto –
Coma Call

As the euphoria of the new year beings to fade and the harsh reality of winter and the pipeline begin to set in, it is a great time to go to your Coma List.

What is a Coma List?  It is a list containing two types of prospects:

  • Those people who were involved in a sales cycle with you some time in the last 18 months, but did not go to decision, with you or any other vendor (You can say these are the folks in a self-induced coma, maybe there needs to be a third group, those that our sales effort put into a coma)
  • Those people you were going to call, but didn’t get around to, had better prospects, no time, etc.

Let’s look at the latter. I am not saying it is right or good, but the reality is that there are times when prospects do fall between the cracks, or maybe you had bigger fish to fry at the time, and you ran out of time.  You get involved in other cycles and activities, the next thing you know several weeks of months have passed, and you did not follow up, some feel awkward reaching out given the time that has passed.

The start of the January is a great time to reach out to these people to see if there is an opportunity to reengage.  Time has passed for them, as it has for you, their requirements may or may not have been satisfied, but statistics indicate that the status quo prevails, and they likely took no action.  Either way it is a call worth making, if they “hate” you and don’t want to see you till the end of time, fine, it is a 30 second call.

But just as often the outcome of a “Coma Call” is surprisingly positive.  If in fact the prospect falls into the majority and has not taken action, your call may be welcomed.  It is the start of the year for them as well, they are reviewing objective for the coming year, and the issue that brought you together the first time may still be on that list, and you can be a familiar potential way to address it.

Don’t let pride or fear hold you back.  Look at the percentages, the worst case is they say something negative and hang up, you’ll  live!  On the other hand they may welcome the call and reengage, and better, buy.  I can tell you from firsthand experience that I regularly get business from Coma Calls, right through the year.  Unless you were rude or abusive the first time round, chances are that they will reengage, and then it is up to you to go to work, rebuild your relationship, meet their requirements and deliver.

Yes, it was a mistake to let the sale slip into a coma, but that does not mean you should not take steps to revive the sale.


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Tibor Shanto


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