6 years ago
August 21, 2018

What Do You Do When Clients Go Dark?

Clients go dark. It happens in sales all the time. It is more common than sales recruiters would like. Putting work into a deal only to have a client go…

Rhys Metler

Clients go dark. It happens in sales all the time. It is more common than sales recruiters would like. Putting work into a deal only to have a client go dark can be frustrating, especially if you think you were close to closing the deal. Unfortunately, it’s the nature of the beast. Rather than taking it personally and dwelling on it, you need to accept it as part of the sales process and move forward.

Why Do Clients Go Dark?

There are many reasons why a client may go dark:

  • They are poor communicators
  • They are avoiding you because they’ve gone in another direction
  • The deal is not a high priority
  • They are not ready to buy
  • There are behind-the-scenes factors in play you don’t know about
  • They are really busy

What Do You Do When a Client Goes Dark?

When a client goes dark, you can do one of two things. You can give up on them. But this approach would likely hurt your sales funnel and have a big impact on your bottom line.

Or the better approach is to think of a creative way to re-engage the client before the deal is off the table for good. Here are some things you can do when a client goes dark:

1. Don’t call out their silence:

When you call out the client for going dark, you risk making them feel guilty, and they will be less likely to respond. Don’t refer to the past, and focus your messages on moving forward with the sales process.

2. Adjust your closing techniques:

Changing your approach somewhat could help re-engage the client. Rather than using the same close over and over, make it more specific. Ask for different commitments, provide different information, and look for different ways to capture the client’s attention.

3. Try the personal approach:

If all else fails, try to connect with the client on a personal level. If you know the client is a baseball fan, bring it up in your communications. Once you connect with them, slowly transition back to your sales pitch.

4. Connect with someone else:

If your conversation is going nowhere with a client, rather than hassle the person who has gone silent, look for another person internally with whom to create a dialogue.

5. Know when to move on:

If you have tried all of the above and nothing is working, then it’s likely time to move on. There is only so much time you can dedicate to a lead. Focus your efforts elsewhere.


Get More Recruiter Insights for Dealing with Difficult Sales Situations

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The Power of Great Storytelling in Sales

5 Ways to Say “I’m Sorry” to Customers When a Sale Goes Wrong


SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.