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June 30th, 2013
Sales Metaphor for Buyers who are  M.I.A.

"Have Your Buyers Disappeared?"

Have you ever had a customer stop returning your calls? No e-mails, texts or communication of any kind? When this happens, do not despair. Your buyer is simply in a temporary hold pattern known as the “VORTEX.” They will re-appear when they are ready.  This metaphor is comparing the missing pieces of our pipeline to metaphysical space whirlpools made up of gas. For literal folks, here is a real vortex definition:

vortex [ˈvɔːtɛks][1]

1. a whirling mass or rotary motion in a liquid, gas, flame, etc., such as the spiraling movement of water around a whirlpool

2. situation regarded as irresistibly engulfing  [from Latin: a whirlpool]

Have buyers really become swept away? No, they will re-emerge, but the real question is:

  • “Why did they go away?”

One of the most common sales errors is the lack of follow-up.  If a customer asks a question, this is the chance to research the answer. Examples of follow-up include:

  1. Phone calls
  2. E-mail with References
  3. Hand Delivered Proposals
  4. Thank You Notes
  5. Webinars

Solutions to The Vortex

Follow-up builds professional credibility because the customer feels that you care enough to get the questions answered. Phone calls and emails are fine,

but getting back face-to-face with the buyer is optimal. If you cannot go directly to see your customer, at least invite them to a webinar (see

If your buyers have become engulfed in a Vortex, you may also want to check with your networking group. Bring up this account at your next meeting or call someone in your industry:

  • “Has anyone one else heard any news about this account or buyer?”

Have you tried connecting on Social Media? One of my buyers was considering a proposal. In the interim between submitting my proposal and acceptance, I visit her Facebook (business) page and check “Like.” On the next phone call, my buyer thanked me for liking the Facebook page! We talked a little about some of the pictures and positive customer reactions related to her Facebook page.

Sales often stall because we lack the inertia of follow-up. Reverse the whirlpool known as the Vortex with constant activity. Network extensively and seek information. There may be a very logical explanation for this mysterious disappearance. Try connecting on Social Media. Put a reminder in your calendar to keep touching base with your buyer until you either make the sale or remove them from your list of qualified buyers. Be persistent and you can overcome the Sales Vortex!


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