Getting Over the Dead Zone Hump

Learn how to plot a course to Social Selling Success and avoid the dead zone hump in this post from LinkedIn Sales.

February 24, 2014

Getting Over the Dead Zone Hump

Top sales performers are constantly evaluating, scrutinizing and evolving their approach. However, even the most seasoned sales pros face a “hump” in the sales process they can’t seem to get over from time to time.

Rob Kavanagh calls this the “dead zone.” As you commit to a social selling routine, you’ll need to create your own strategy for breathing life into dead sales. The following tips will help.

Play a form of 20 Questions

Your first conversation is almost always the most important interaction you will have with prospects. This is when prospects are most open about the problems they need to solve and it’s also your best opportunity to truly understand pain points and ideal scenarios.

Strive to talk as little as possible during this conversation and instead be focused on asking questions. Ask your best questions and follow up with short, probing ones, such as:

  • That’s interesting, tell me more
  • What will happen if this continues?
  • If you are able to fix this problem, what will it mean for your business?

Ask questions that not only help you understand the current state, but also provide the answers that give you fuel should your sales cycle stall sometime in the future.

Create Alternate Routes

Growing your network is like building highway infrastructure. The more routes between destinations the better. The same is true for your network. The more people you are connected to, the more you can leverage those connections if/when a sales stalls alongside the road.

Here are 3 tips to continue growing your network:

  1. Hang out where your prospects do by researching top blogs or forums specific to your industry; visit and comment regularly.
  2. Become part of an industry community by joining relevant LinkedIn groups and sharing your knowledge.
  3. Post insightful links or relevant content as a status update; when someone comments or shares, invite them to join your network on LinkedIn.

Avoid pit stops

It’s not uncommon for prospects to speed up, slow down or all together take a break from their research of a new product or service.

As a sales person, any additional stops the prospect takes will kill momentum and lengthen the journey to a closed sale. To avoid additional pit stops, leverage social selling to:

  1. Follow-up with the prospect with new industry trends / research that reaffirms their decision to pursue a solution like yours.
  2. Create and make connections with additional contacts within the organization to increase touch points and get more people interested in to your solution.
  3. Take your online relationships offline and invite to meet at the next local networking or out-of-town industry event. Encouraging a long-term relationship ensures that your prospect will likely stay on track during the sales process.

Top performers quickly recognize when a sale has taken a wrong turn. To get a prospect back on track – and avoid dead zones– be sure to leverage the tips above.

What tips do you have for keeping prospects engaged?