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The VORTEX

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 gotomeeting.com).

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!


Thursday is for Following Up

September 15th, 2011

You have stirred up so much activity this week, that someone is going to order, right? That’s true if you believe in following up on your activity:

  • When you send an e-mail or letter, you follow up with a phone call
  • If you finish a web meeting or live consultation, then you send a thank you note or text message
  • After you send a proposal by e-mail, you may want to follow it up with a phone call to make sure that it did not get caught in the Spam folder of your email application!
  • When you connect on social media, you may want to send a message on linkedin or facebook thanking your new contact!

One of the great things about technology is pop-up reminders:

  • You can put in tasks and follow up items that will pop up and remind you.
  • Most Customer Relationship Management software applications (Sage Act!, salesforce.com, etc…) have more detailed records with the reminders so you actually remember ‘why’ you needed to contact the customer.

Following up is good on any day – not just Thursdays. It shows people that you care and advances the sale. It also builds trust because buyers view you as credible and thorough. If you provide great customer service, you will win the business!

 

 
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