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-   -   Let's (simply) put it this way... What would you do?... (http://www.sowpub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5670)

-TW October 12, 2008 04:32 AM

Let's (simply) put it this way... What would you do?...
 
Your marketing efforts produce 100 potential customers who CONTACT YOU, saying, "I'm interested, please email and/or call me."

Now -- what do you do? What's your immediate action plan? Do you do as the prospects request (call and/or email them)?

What if you discover they are unreachable and do not respond to any attempts to contact them? Even if your attempts are as inoffensive as, "you called me, and I'm returning your call."

What if ALL 100 are like that? -- year after year

-- TW

PS: Are you saying 100% of the initiative ALWAYS falls on the seller (+ none falls on the buyer), even if the buyer is the one who REQUESTED he/she be contacted by the seller?

As I see it, it's not a sales thing so much as it is a respect thing.

If a prospect ASKS ME TO CONTACT THEM (again, THEY ASKED ME TO CONTACT THEM), and then I DO contact them (email them and/or leave them a voicemail msg -- because they're never in), then they refuse to get back to me -- EVER... then it's a civility issue, imo.

Ankesh October 12, 2008 05:28 AM

Re: I would change my "marketing efforts"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by -TW (Post 22617)
Your marketing efforts produce 100 potential customers who CONTACT YOU, saying, "I'm interested, please email and/or call me."

Now -- what do you do? What's your immediate action plan? Do you do as the prospects request (call and/or email them)?

What if you discover they are unreachable and do not respond to any attempts to contact them? Even if your attempts are as inoffensive as, "you called me, and I'm returning your call."

What if ALL 100 are like that? -- year after year

-- TW


I would simply change the initial marketing approach. You may think that its hitting the prospects hot buttons and getting them to raise their hands. But its not doing a good job as the prospects go cold very quickly after raising their hands.

So as has been recommended to you before, try bribes and incentives. With your first contact.

Something to the effect of:

Call and book within 7 days - and you'll get a goodie for free.
If you book after 7 days, you'll still get our low low price - but no goodie.

Give a reason as to why you can give the goodie for free for only 7 days. This way, you won't get a lot of people calling you after 7 days and demanding a goodie.

Get the prospects to call "now" for a better deal. If you want, you could call the prospects who don't call you on the 4th day or so - to remind that only 3 days left for the free goodie too...

MichaelRoss October 13, 2008 04:26 PM

What would you do?... Close the business!
 
TW,

Thanks for making the question different.

What would *I* do if the customer never called me to Book In; if when I return their call they never get back in touch?

I would Not lose sleep over, what I perceive to be, their lack of respect. I would think... self, this is the wrong business to be in, I thinks I'll do something else. Close the business down and do something else.

I'd do this because I understand the following... people will only pay for something they can't do themselves but feel they need doing; can do but really don't like doing it or don't do very well; or flat out refuse to do for their own reasons.

People will Pay to have their computer repaired if it goes on the blink, but will toss a kettle or torch and just buy a new one.

Some people will do their own painting while others will hire painters in.
Some hire lawn mowing men while others do it themselves.

But if you're offering nose picking services, you're going to struggle.

Now, there's only going to be two reasons why you're getting the results you are...

1: Those who respond to your marketing and even past customers, are not the right market for your widget. You Think they are because you've had Some success after multiple contact attempts - but - that's just sucked you in to doing what you're doing. (Sometimes the worst thing that can happen is you have a tiny success.)

2: The business doesn't fit the "can't do, can't do well, don't want to do, refuse to do" criteria - not as you think it does. Which is to say, people just don't think they need this thing as much as you think they need it. And you need to be able to accept that.

You cannot Force people to return a call; let you know "No". You either accept that, or get all bothered about it. Learn to go with their "lack of returned phone calls" flow - or - close the business and do something else for your own sanity. Or, or... spend time figuring it all out and when, after years, you find the Solution, then sell that to all the other people who want to beat themselves up over potential customers not returning call.

Me? I'd shut it down and move on.

Michael Ross

remipub October 13, 2008 05:05 PM

Re: Let's (simply) put it this way... What would you do?...
 
You really can't take rejection personally. Sure it would be nice to get feedback from potential clients, whether positive or negative, but you have to keep in mind that they too have a priority list. Each day people have to decide how they will spend their time - those things that represent the greatest need will take top priority followed by "wants." And the wants will fall into order of what they want more at that given moment. A person's priority list (of both needs and wants) is constantly changing, which is why repetition is so important in promoting a sales message. You just have to be lucky enough to hit them when your particular product or service is high enough on the priority list to compel them to act. But please donít take a lack of action as a sign of disrespect. It just means they have other priorities that they deem more important at that time.

Also, itís a lot easier to simply check a box expressing interest in more information, than to actually make a call Ė or even take the time to receive one. Yes it sucks, but thatís business. Your challenge is to create a message that puts the product/service youíre selling high on the clientsí priority list. If you cannot come up with a message or promotion to accomplish this goal, then it is probably time to consider a different product or service.

-TW October 13, 2008 08:40 PM

Re: Let's (simply) put it this way... What would you do?...
 
Remi -- I don't take it personally, exactly. That is, I don't take each individual 'rejection' personally. What begins to grate on my (very) soul, eventually, is the CUMULATIVE + PREDICTABLE rejection. And it's not even the rejection, exactly. It's the (what I perceive to be) rudeness of it. "Please contact me, I'm interested." Then I contact them... then NO RESPONSE -- repeatedly (either way - yes OR no) -- even with people I already 'know' well! It's incomprehensible, imo.

As I keep saying, there must be some (polite) way to make them see that -- and to 'train' them to (at least) respond.

I'll keep searching for the answer (+ going to therapy in the mean time).

-- TW

remipub October 13, 2008 09:10 PM

Therapy won't help :)
 
Well I think the answer to your question has been given by others ... you have to create some incentive to make the people WANT to reply. Whether it's ad copy that stirs emotion and elicits a response, an offer they just can't refuse, or some other incentive that makes responding to your message near the top of their priority list. You don't want to disclose what the message is - which is fine - so it's hard for the rest of us to judge your message or service, or give specific ideas. But if repeated attempts are not yielding any results, you know something's got to change. Whether it's the offer, or the product/service all together.

It's a tough market out there - many businesses have to really tighten up the purse strings to make it work - even many who were skating easily before.

L.B. Jenkins October 14, 2008 12:51 AM

Re: Let's (simply) put it this way... What would you do?...
 
TW,

Quote:

Originally Posted by -TW (Post 22636)
Remi -- I don't take it personally, exactly. That is, I don't take each individual 'rejection' personally. What begins to grate on my (very) soul, eventually, is the CUMULATIVE + PREDICTABLE rejection. And it's not even the rejection, exactly. It's the (what I perceive to be) rudeness of it. "Please contact me, I'm interested." Then I contact them... then NO RESPONSE -- repeatedly (either way - yes OR no) -- even with people I already 'know' well! It's incomprehensible, imo.

As I keep saying, there must be some (polite) way to make them see that -- and to 'train' them to (at least) respond.

I'll keep searching for the answer (+ going to therapy in the mean time).

-- TW


The answer is quite simple. You have not qualified them yet. Remember sales in any industry is a system of qualifying and then disqualifying the prospect.

I have been in your situation before and the hard lesson I had to accept is that I was targeting the wrong people and I was not closing the sale properly.

Seeing how you mention CUMULATIVE + PREDICTABLE rejection, tells me that your target market is not the correct market to target.

Have you searched the SRDS books yet to determine if your product/service is in demand for the markets you are targeting?

-TW October 14, 2008 02:55 AM

Qualifying IS part of the problem!...
 
(((Aaaaarrrrgh!)))

The catch-22 is that I DO have the correct market (depends how you define 'correct'). Additional catch-22 is, if I keep following up with these 100 (100 3x / year) hand-raisers, many of them DO end up signing up.

The frustration comes when I must maintain ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT of the initiative during the sales 'process.'

Analogy: I end up marrying enough of the 100 girlfriends to make it worthwhile (?) -- but the 'relationships' are 100% ONE-SIDED (me putting in ALL the effort ALL the time).

What you say about qualifying them better rings true -- which is why I called it more of a 'sift + sort' issue.

When they say, 'please call me back in two months,' I think it would be fair for me to ask them, 'before I say I'll do that, would you say your interest level is low, medium or high?'

See, part of the problem is, these sales can be very complicated and the sales process can be moths or years long. I'm selling to city + county gov-mints -- things must be approved, sometimes involving grants and all sorts of BS. I must keep them fired up and keep them championing the whole thing. It's hard to tell who's really doing that, and who's "F.O.C." (f stands for 'full'). The real problem is, when the actual SALES (the ones who DO sign up) are traced backwards (to see the trail success left behind), whether they return my calls, etc. is *NOT* an indicator of whether they end up signing up.

So, sifting + sorting + qualifying CANNOT be enhanced by paying attention to who returns my calls + who does not. NONE OF THEM return my calls -- fruitless prospects and (eventual) sign ups alike!

-- TW

PS: I've been doing this (rolling the boulder up the hill 3x/year) for 15 years. It's the fact that I must do it singlehandedly with NO help from the (supposedly win-win) customer, that drives me nuts. Like I said, I'd be fine if I'd have to provide 98% of the initiative -- but, ONE-HUNDRED % ?!?!!?

PPS: Feel free to substitute the word 'marrying' with another more accurate + graphic word, if you wish.

MichaelRoss October 14, 2008 07:11 AM

Re: Qualifying IS part of the problem!...
 
Quote:

I'm selling to city + county gov-mints -- things must be approved, sometimes involving grants and all sorts of BS

THAT's the problem right there and there.

Me? I am the Howard Roark approach... never do business with a Committee. If I am not speaking to the Decision Maker, and a decision needs to go to a committee, I am not interested. And for that matter, I am not interested in making money from the theft of other people's incomes - which is what Govt money is.

Now, TW, you know what your choices are. For 15 years nothing has changed. And with Gummit it ain't likely to. So you'll just have to either grin and bear it - or - move on. You cannot expect anything from a civil servant who gets paid whether they do nothing or do something. And who only does something if they absolutely positively have to.

Of course, being Govt, there is usually a Fee which can be paid for Speedy Service. Call it whatever you like, it's just a polite word for Bribe. :)

Ross out...

-TW October 14, 2008 09:56 AM

On the other hand...
 
If/when they do have $$, they HAVE TO spend it!

-- TW


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