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Let’s NOT Just Talk About The Weather
August 22, 2022
Product or Partner: Which One Are You?
September 29, 2022

What’s Your Prospect’s Problem? Why Won’t They Respond?

You’ve sent your prospect an email.

You’ve called your prospect.

You’ve followed up.

You’ve followed up the follow up.


So what’s your prospect’s problem? Why won’t they respond?


Well … THAT is the problem. You don’t know their problem … and probably didn’t know their problems to begin with. You have not given them a credible reason to engage you.


If a prospect is not responding, it’s not because they are too busy or not interested. It’s because they DO NOT PERCEIVE THERE IS ANY VALUE in speaking to you or doing business with you.


Why do you contact prospects? Because you want to win their business and grow your portfolio.


But have you considered why a prospect would want to contact you?


If a prospect smells that scent of desperation from you, they will have zero interest in speaking to you … unless you have engaged them at just the right moment where they are unhappy with their current financial services provider.


But that’s not prospecting!?! That’s simply playing the waiting game. And inevitably, your outreaches (or reminders of your existence) to the prospect become annoying.


If the reason why you contact prospects is to genuinely assist them, regardless of winning any new business, then you may just get a few more responses.


You need to understand why a prospect would be interested in responding to you. What would motivate them to reply to your email or return your call? To want to meet with you? And it needs to be THEIR motivation, NOT yours.


This is the first (and most important) step in my “Prospecting Excellence Model” below.

Prospecting is NOT about contacting as many people as possible and hoping for a meeting.


The key to successful prospecting, and getting more responses, is to make yourself TREMENDOUSLY VALUABLE to the people you want to meet.


So many bankers make the mistake of reaching out to prospects with this message:


“Hi Jenny. This is Tom Smith from ABC Bank. I would love to meet with you to learn more about your business and talk about the many solutions our bank can offer. When would you have time next week for a meeting?”


Sound familiar? And you wonder why they don’t respond.


This message basically spells out why YOU want to meet them. It is your motivation. So why would they want to help you when they don’t know you? Why spend time with you when there is no perceived value?


Before creating any outreach message, take the time to understand what would motivate the prospect to meet with you.


A prospect is more inclined to respond if you highlight something that would interest them. Something that is intriguing for them. Something that is valuable to them.


The truth is, answering your questions about their business and hearing about your bank products is NOT interesting, intriguing or valuable for a prospect. No matter how amazing you think you or your bank are.


Research your prospects. Think about what financial management problems they may be encountering. Highlight a problem that they can relate to and describe how you can help them overcome that problem.


Now that sounds interesting and intriguing. And any prospect would be motivated to meet with someone who can offer valuable advice for overcoming that problem.


You see the biggest driver of buying behavior is “Problem Avoidance”. Prospects are more likely to meet/select service providers who make it EASY for them to manage their life and help them AVOID problems.


So when you don’t get a response from a prospect, the problem they have with you is that you don’t know their problems.


Here are three problem areas you can explore to better motivate your prospect to meet with you.

1) CONCERNS about Banks

What problems have your prospects had with banks? What are their concerns about banks in general?


  • Bank fees too high
  • Banks care about profits, not customers
  • Bank does not understand my business
  • Difficult to contact my banker

“Hi Jenny. This is Tom Smith from ABC Bank. We know that many small businesses are concerned about the rising cost of finance. We have been sharing some simple ideas with our customers on how to keep costs down. I thought it would make sense to meet with you and share these ideas that can save you lots of money.”

2) CRIMES being committed

What problems do your prospects have with managing their business? What “crimes” are they committing, or inefficiencies are they experiencing, when it comes to cash flow management?


  • Not leveraging equity to fund greater growth
  • Poor daily banking practices
  • Exposure to fraud
  • No succession plan

“Hi Jenny. This is Tom Smith from ABC Bank. Did you know that 2 out of 3 consumers will be impacted by fraud over the next year? We have been speaking to our customers about simple ways to protect your money and identity. Please find enclosed our guide to fraud prevention. We will contact you in coming weeks to further discuss.”

3) CRISIS impacting business

What economic or external problems are impacting your prospects? What external crisis is critically affecting their finances and well being?


  • Pandemic recovery
  • Rise in inflation and interest rates
  • Supply chain issues
  • Difficulty hiring/retaining skilled labor

“Hi Jenny. This is Tom Smith from ABC Bank. Rising inflation and supply chain issues has significantly impacted the operating costs of our business customers. So we have been hosting a series of seminars to help small businesses better manage their cash flow. As a local business, we thought you could benefit from these discussions and would be delighted if you could join us for an upcoming seminar we are hosting on 21 September.”


Can you credibly discuss any of the above problems your prospects may be facing?

Can you offer strategies (and solutions) to help?

If so, then you may have just overcome the problem you have with prospects not responding to you.

I encourage you to gather with your colleagues on a regular basis to review your prospect lists, explore what would motivate them to meet with you and construct messages that offer tremendous value.


Article written by Joe Micallef – Sales Strategist & Coach – Grow UP Sales. For more advice on how to engage prospects please email joe@growupsales.com or visit the webpage www.growupsales.com

If you found the content valuable then please feel free to share this article with your broader network. Let’s help more bankers and sales people become life-long learners.