page title icon The Silent Killer of Your B2B Sales Results

Unpacking the Silent Killer of Sales: Overcoming Ghosting and Indecision

In this episode of B2B Digital Marketer, we dive into why many potential customers disengage and don’t make a purchase, wasting both the vendor’s resources and their own team’s resources.

We learn from a machine learning analysis of 2.5 million recorded sales calls that no decision loss is a silent killer of sales, even though the customers are convinced of the value of the solution. 

We discuss two biases – status quo bias and omission bias – that can contribute to no decision loss, as well as the fear of failure that underlies omission bias. We explore different techniques such as the Jolt method and pings and echoes to address indecision in customers. 

We also examine the importance of focusing on converting lost deals into opportunities, and the impact of proper expectations setting, being a buyer’s agent, building trust, and demonstrating expertise in complex B2B sales.

Matt Dixon is an experienced sales, marketing and customer experience researcher, having spent the last 30 years studying the complexities of customer engagement. Matt has been a part of some important research projects, including the Challenger sale, The Effortless Experience and Jolt Effect, his latest book which was released in September. Matt is passionate about understanding why customers do the things they do and finding the best methods for organizations to effectively engage with them.

Podcast Timestamps/Outline

01:24 – Introduction

02:75 – Lost sales due to customer disengagement and lack of decision-making.

09:03 – And I’m the one who’s going to be held accountable for that. Fear of making the wrong decision, lack of research, and not receiving expected benefits cause customers to lose a deal to no decision.

20:24 – Jolt sellers convert at higher rates than non-jolt sellers, especially with indecisive customers.

24:16 – High performers use “pings and echoes” to surface indecision and get fears on the table to be dealt with.

30:19 – Salespeople should narrow down customer options and provide guidance with a personal endorsement.

32:53 – Advise customer to limit exploration, build bank of trust, demonstrate expertise to avoid customer doing own research.

38:21 – Salespeople must guide customers to great decisions and make them look like a hero.

41:25 – Manage customer expectations early in sales process and create safety net with value plan, mutual agreement, and professional services.

45:03 – Auditing seller calls, customer surveys, and machine learning to measure customer sentiment to increase deal conversion rates.

47:40 – Indecisiveness in simple and complex purchases; no decision loss rate 40-60%.

49:47 – Connect with Matt Dixon

Memorable Quotes

“The best way to sell is to focus on helping.”

“When selling to customers, it’s not about steering them to a predetermined outcome, but about putting that customer at the center, and then guiding them to make the best decision possible for their circumstances.”

“The notion that you can influence someone by giving them the story or the pitch is increasingly a fallacy.”

“Solve problems before they arise. Create ways to prove your worth before being asked.”

“Your customers are your best leads, your best advocates, and your best salespeople.”

“Great salespeople don’t aim to be yes men or women. Instead, they guide customers by narrowing down the options to a smaller set, then recommending a specific option with their personal seal of approval.”

“The art of questioning in selling is not just about finding out what the customers need, it’s about helping them articulate those needs for themselves.”

“It’s not about product-led differentiation. It’s about value-led differentiation. It’s how you sell, not just what you sell.”

“The most effective salespeople see themselves as win-win problem solvers.”

“The point where most salespeople fail isn’t convincing a customer they have a problem. It’s convincing them that it’s worth solving now.”

Episode Links and Resources

Jolt Effect book (Amazon): 

Jolt Effect book (website): 

Matt’s LinkedIn: 

Digital activity ROI assessment: 

More episodes related to B2B sales: 

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