Gartner Research

Why Buyers Go Quiet on Salespeople and How to Handle It

Published: 11 March 2020

ID: G00466750

Analyst(s): Michele Buckley


Sometimes a sales opportunity is progressing well, when suddenly, the prospect stops responding to any emails or phone calls. What went wrong? This research explains why buyers go silent in a sales cycle and how technology and service providers can prevent and manage this situation.

Table Of Contents


  • The “Silent Treatment” Is Real and Meaningful
    • Top Reasons Why Buyers Go Quiet
    • Did Our Salespeople Do Something Wrong?
  • Competencies That Help Sales Understand a Buyer’s Needs
    • Situational Awareness
    • Continuous Qualification
  • Short-Term Actions You Can Take in the Sound of Silence
    • Option 1 — Attempt to Learn the Truth
    • Option 2 — Wait and Hope
    • Option 3 — Attempt a Last-Ditch High-Value Offer
    • Option 4 — Disengage and Move On
    • Option 5 — Seek Customer Feedback via Win/Loss Research and Analysis
  • Summary

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