The Upside

5 Communication Tips to Minimize Client Ghosting

Last week in The Upside community, Upside member and sales expert Allison Davis hosted one of our monthly Expert Sessions to teach members how to architect their sales process.

(You’ll be able to watch the archived recording if you decide to join The Upside!) 

Like you, Upside members are confident in their skills and the value they bring to clients. But when Allison asked them how confident they were in their process for selling their high-end services, there was some immediate squirming. 

Allison poured out her process with our members who lit up the chat with all sorts of sales questions, including how to prevent ghosting.

Allison calls this the Bermuda Triangle.

It’s when you send out the proposal and, after weeks of no responses to your email follow-ups, you wonder, “Where did it go? Is the client alive? WHAT HAPPENED???” 😭

I know that this is such a common challenge for consultants, so I wanted to provide you with 5 solutions to help you avoid getting ghosted…

…and avoid wasting any more of your valuable time with clients who never respond.

  1. Avoid the temptation to share your great ideas during the prospecting stage.

Believe it or not, sharing even one brilliant idea before the client has signed the contract and exchanged money, is never good for getting clients over the goal line. 

  1. Always discuss pricing verbally in the first conversation.

And I don’t mean asking, “What is your budget?” I mean saying something like, “I’ll need 24 hours to get you a formal proposal, but I’m estimating that this project will land somewhere between $50,000-$65,000. Before we move forward, does this sound good to you?”

  1. View the proposal as a confirmation of your conversation.

The proposal should outline the details of everything you already spoke about with the client. The proposal is not the place to show them something new or unexpected. If you need more time with the client to ask questions and clarify their needs, then book a second meeting.

  1. Instill a “good until” date on the proposal.

This creates a sense of urgency and sends the message that you aren’t going to wait forever for an answer. It also gives you a valid reason to follow up. Finally, if they come back a year later ready to work with you, you can gently let them know that those rates no longer apply. #PITAtax

  1. Review the proposal live with the client prospect instead of sending it over email.

This way you can gauge their reactions and address any pushback or concerns right then and there. 

And of course, like any business conversation, mindset plays a huge role in ghosting. 

Always remember:

  1. You’re leading the conversation, not the other way around.
  2. The client needs what you’re offering and would be lucky to work with you.
  3. It’s ok to walk away if the opportunity doesn’t feel aligned.

I hope this helps you close more deals and waste less time. After all, as a consultant, time is always your scarcest resource!

Erin Halper

About the Author

Erin Halper is the founder and CEO of The Upside and the leading authority on independent consulting. Since launching The Upside in 2017, Erin has helped thousands of professionals transition from corporate life into consulting to achieve flexibility, autonomy, and a renewed sense of purpose in their careers.

Erin has been a frequent speaker at Columbia, NYU, Harvard, and Brown and has been featured as a leading future of work expert on dozens of podcasts as well as in Forbes, Business Insider, Nasdaq, Crunchbase and many more.

Get insider access

with our weekly newsletter

You’ll receive our Pricing Playbook, tactical tips on growing a consultancy, real-world stories, and solutions that will inspire you to play bigger.

How to Price Your Expertise

“One of the most helpful free guides I’ve ever downloaded.”

Someone has nominated to fast-track your membership to The Upside.
Accept your invitation and apply here before applications close on December 25.
Erin Halper of The Upside

Registration Now Open!

The Upside Accelerator



Doors Close October 24!