Know when to walk away
“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
- Andre Gide
Gaining insight that helps providers move away from buyers who do not fit is a preferred result over moving someone who is not ready to the Buy Step. The provider should have in place technology that allows them to capture data associated with buyers to improve insight during this step. Some of the best salespeople I know when to get up and walk out. They know there is nothing there. Marketing should use its own knowledge about targeted markets and the behavior of the buyer to determine the continued provider investment.
Misinformation and Opportunity Costs
Numerous times I have seen products and services mentioned on social sites where buyers will discuss capabilities of the offering and the provider. It’s happening all day long and when the provider doesn’t have a clear communications strategy, misinformation can get passed along. This is another reason to get the facts right across the provider’s different points of contact. Bad facts spread just as fast (if not sometimes faster) as good facts.
Another key point here is that the provider’s named competition isn’t their only competition. Budgetary competition includes other needs in the buyer’s organization. The provider is now competing for budget dollars. Not only does the solution need to look favorable vis-à-vis their competition, but it needs to look favorable against other opportunities.
This opportunity cost for the buyer will be part of a portfolio of strategic buying decisions. Just as the provider looks at its offerings from a portfolio standpoint, the buyers know they can only effectively digest so many purchase decisions.
Trial offerings, pilots and free
Let me explain the term Tryoritize (try+prioritize). What buyers are doing during this second step is to consider this possible purchase as a priority to them. One overt sign is that they are willing to tell the provider who they are. Up until to this point, they could be flying all over the Internet completely anonymous to all providers. Through web analytics, the providers can see what organizations they may come from and a host of other information such as what content they looked at etc., but they may still don’t know who the specific buyer is.
The loss of anonymity often comes when the buyer agrees to leave their real e-mail address (not always) or actually calls. Sharing their company e-mail address usually shows that the topic the provider is discussing has their interest. As busy as they are, the last thing they need is unnecessary e-mail. You probably already know that many buyers will leave their public e-mail address from free services such as Google mail or Yahoo mail because it allows them to get what they want while masking their identity. Using a public e-mail address can be an indicator that the buyer is still in the Research step. They are not ready to...