page title icon The Silent Killer of Your B2B Sales Results

B2B Digital Marketer
B2B Digital Marketer
The Silent Killer of Your B2B Sales Results

Unpacking the Silent Killer of Sales: Overcoming Ghosting and Indecision

Insights from 2.5 Million Sales Calls with Matt Dixon

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. 

Take the Quiz: Are You Ready to Conquer the Sales Labyrinth?”

During the interview with Matt, 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.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The significant impact of customer indecision on sales and effective strategies to mitigate it, focusing on building trust and expertise.
  • How the Jolt method increases conversion rates by addressing customer fears and fostering decisiveness.
  • Practical techniques for salespeople to guide customer choices, including narrowing down options and offering personalized recommendations.
  • The importance of early management of customer expectations and the development of safety nets like value plans and mutual agreements.
  • Methods to analyze and improve customer sentiment through call auditing, surveys, and machine learning, aimed at enhancing deal conversion rates.
  • Insights into future-proofing sales strategies by understanding and applying the Jolt method, with an invitation for deeper engagement with sales expert Matt Dixon.

Table of contents

  1. Insights from 2.5 Million Sales Calls with Matt Dixon
  2. Timestamps to Key Moments
  3. Key Tips and Takeaways
  4. Pros and Cons
  5. Memorable Quotes
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. How to Overcome Customer Indecision and Boost Sales
  8. Turning Hesitation into Action
  9. Episode Links and Resources

Timestamps to Key Moments

(01:24 – 02:74) Introduction to the concept of lost sales due to customer disengagement and indecision, highlighting the importance of addressing this issue in sales strategy.

(02:75 – 09:02) Detailed exploration of how fear of making the wrong decision, insufficient research, and unmet expectations lead customers to abandon potential deals, resulting in a no-decision outcome.

(09:03 – 20:23) Discussion on accountability in sales decisions and strategies for mitigating customers’ fears to avoid lost deals, emphasizing the role of trust and expertise in the sales process.

(20:24 – 24:15) Analysis of how Jolt sellers outperform non-Jolt sellers by effectively converting indecisive customers at a higher rate, showcasing the effectiveness of the Jolt method in sales.

(24:16 – 30:18) Techniques used by high performers, such as ‘pings and echoes,’ to identify and address customer indecision early, fostering an environment for open discussion on concerns and hesitations.

(30:19 – 32:52) Strategies for narrowing down customer options and providing personalized guidance and endorsements to facilitate decision-making and reduce exploration.

(32:53 – 38:20) Recommendations for salespeople to limit customer’s need for further exploration by building a bank of trust and demonstrating expertise, thus positioning themselves as trusted advisors.

(38:21 – 41:24) Insights into guiding customers towards making great decisions, emphasizing the importance of salespeople making customers feel like heroes through managed expectations and support.

(41:25 – 45:02) Techniques for managing customer expectations from the early stages of the sales process and creating a safety net through value plans, mutual agreements, and professional services.

(45:03 – 47:39) Methods for auditing seller calls, conducting customer surveys, and applying machine learning to measure and improve customer sentiment, aiming to increase conversion rates.

(47:40 – 49:46) Discussion on the prevalence of indecisiveness in both simple and complex purchases and the significant impact of no-decision losses, which range from 40-60%.

(49:47 – End) Invitation to connect with Matt Dixon for further discussion and insights into overcoming sales challenges and effectively employing the Jolt method.

Key Tips and Takeaways

  • Understanding Customer Fears: Dive deep into the reasons behind customer indecision, such as fear of making the wrong choice, and develop strategies to address these concerns directly.
  • Implementing the Jolt Method: Leverage the Jolt method to boost conversion rates by converting indecisive customers into confident decision-makers through targeted sales tactics.
  • Guidance and Personalization: Provide clear guidance and personalized recommendations to customers, helping them navigate through options and make informed decisions.
  • Building a Trust Bank: Establish a foundation of trust by demonstrating expertise and integrity, ensuring customers feel secure in their decision-making process.
  • Customer Expectation Management: Initiate the sales process with clear and managed expectations, using tools like value plans and mutual agreements to create a safety net for customers.
  • Leveraging Data for Insight: Utilize analytics, customer surveys, and machine learning to gain insights into customer sentiment, enabling more effective and tailored sales approaches.

Pros and Cons


  • Targeted Strategies for Indecision: The Jolt method offers a specialized approach to directly address and mitigate customer indecision, enhancing the potential for conversions.
  • Expertise and Trust Building: These strategies emphasize building trust and demonstrating expertise, crucial for long-term customer relationships and repeat business.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Leveraging data from call audits, surveys, and machine learning provides actionable insights to refine and personalize sales tactics for better outcomes.


  • Implementation Complexity: The nuanced approach required to effectively implement strategies like the Jolt method can add complexity to sales processes, requiring training and adjustment periods.
  • Risk of Over-Reliance on Automation: While automation and AI can aid in identifying customer indecision, there’s a risk of over-reliance that could potentially depersonalize customer interactions.
  • Strategic Alignment Challenges: Ensuring these advanced sales strategies align with the overall organizational goals and marketing efforts can be challenging, necessitating a cohesive strategy across departments.

Memorable Quotes

  1. “The best way to sell is to focus on helping.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “The notion that you can influence someone by giving them the story or the pitch is increasingly a fallacy.”
  4. “Solve problems before they arise. Create ways to prove your worth before being asked.”
  5. “Your customers are your best leads, your best advocates, and your best salespeople.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “It’s not about product-led differentiation. It’s about value-led differentiation. It’s how you sell, not just what you sell.”
  9. “The most effective salespeople see themselves as win-win problem solvers.”
  10. “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.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Can addressing customer indecision directly impact sales outcomes?

Yes. By identifying and addressing customer fears and hesitations early in the sales process, businesses can significantly reduce no-decision loss rates and improve conversion rates.

How important is trust in the sales process, and how can it be established?

Trust is crucial. Establishing trust involves demonstrating expertise, understanding customer needs deeply, providing personalized recommendations, and managing expectations effectively to guide customers to successful decisions.

What is the Jolt method, and how can it benefit sales teams?

The Jolt method is a strategic approach to overcoming customer indecision by judging indecision, offering recommendations, limiting exploration, and taking risks off the table. It benefits sales teams by providing a framework to convert indecisive customers more effectively.

How often should sales strategies be reviewed and adjusted to deal with customer indecision?

Sales strategies should be reviewed and adjusted regularly, ideally quarterly, to ensure they remain effective in addressing customer indecision, adapting to changes in customer behavior, and meeting sales goals.

What role does analytics play in understanding and addressing customer indecision?

Analytics is vital for gaining insights into customer behavior, identifying patterns of indecision, and measuring the effectiveness of strategies deployed to address it. Regular analysis helps refine approaches and improve sales outcomes.

How to Overcome Customer Indecision and Boost Sales

  1. Conduct Customer Research:

    Begin by gathering data on your customer base to understand the primary reasons behind indecision. Use surveys, feedback, and sales call analyses to identify common hesitations or concerns.

  2. Develop Buyer Personas:

    Based on your research, create detailed buyer personas that reflect the different segments of your target audience. Include information on their pain points, decision-making processes, and what factors contribute to their indecision.

  3. Implement the Jolt Method:

    Train your sales team on the Jolt method, focusing on judging indecision, offering recommendations, limiting exploration, and taking risks off the table. Ensure they understand how to apply these principles in real conversations.

  4. Create Trust-Building Content:

    Develop content that positions your brand as a trustworthy authority in your industry. Use case studies, testimonials, and detailed guides to address potential customer fears and demonstrate your expertise.

  5. Optimize Sales Scripts:

    Refine your sales scripts to include strategies for uncovering and addressing customer indecision. Incorporate “pings and echoes” techniques to bring customer fears into the open where they can be addressed.

  6. Introduce Decision Aids:

    Develop tools and resources, such as comparison charts, ROI calculators, and product demos, that help customers make informed decisions more easily and with greater confidence.

  7. Set Up a Feedback Loop:

    Establish a system for collecting ongoing feedback from customers post-purchase to understand any remaining hesitations and how the decision process could be further streamlined.

  8. Monitor and Analyze Performance:

    Use analytics to track the effectiveness of your strategies in reducing customer indecision. Look at conversion rates, sales cycle lengths, and no-decision loss rates before and after implementing these strategies.

  9. Regularly Review and Update Your Approach:

    As you collect more data on customer behavior and feedback, continually refine your buyer personas, sales approach, and content strategy to better address customer needs and reduce indecision.

  10. Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning:

    Encourage your sales and marketing teams to stay informed about new insights and techniques for overcoming customer indecision. Regular training sessions and workshops can help maintain a high level of expertise and adaptability within your team.

By implementing these steps, you’ll effectively tackle customer indecision, enriching your business strategy with heightened conversions and strengthened customer trust.

Turning Hesitation into Action

Implementing these actionable steps offers a strategic pathway to understanding and addressing customer indecision, pivotal for enhancing your sales outcomes. This approach not only streamlines the decision-making process for your clients but also establishes your brand as a trusted advisor in your industry. With a focus on building trust, providing clarity, and supporting your customers through their journey, you’re setting the stage for a more robust and effective business strategy that leads to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

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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