How hard do you push your customers for business?
Let’s put it another way –
Do you ever get so busy talking about yourself that you forget to listen to your customer?
SELL SELL SELL
How often do businesses get caught up telling us why we should buy from them – shoving sales messages down our throats, telling us all about what makes them so wonderful – whether we want them to or not?
You know we love to share our experiences to help you learn from others’ mistakes (or wins), so here’s a recent experience that brings this to life.
AN UNINVITED GUEST – WHEN ONLINE SPECTATING BECOMES PHONE CALL HELL
I was recently contacted out of the blue by a lady I follow on Facebook. I’d been following her business for some time, passively watching + engaging on the odd occasion when interest struck me. I was by no means a passionate advocate or highly engaged customer, more a spectator.
It was a Monday morning + I was busily preparing for a meeting. Not recognising the number, I (foolishly) accepted the call. But boy I wish I hadn’t.
That’s unfair… the call started out fine. The lady introduced herself then began asking questions.
Clearly a passionate business owner, she wanted to talk to me about her offering + how she might help solve my problems. As a big supporter of small business, I wanted to give her a chance.
Except I couldn’t talk. I had a meeting. + I told her this, straight up – well, as soon as she took a breath + I could get a word in.
“I’m sorry, I can’t talk right now, I have a meeting starting in one minute.”
She kept talking. + talking. + talking.
A wall of words came at me at such a pace that I could barely speak, like a well-rehearsed pick-up line, but in stereo.
It became evident to me within the first 30 seconds, that she was not going to let me get off the phone. I explained again that I had a meeting on Teams that was starting in less than a minute + I had to go.
Even my desperate plea to get off the phone immediately didn’t stop her talking. She kept going. For how long? Seven + a half minutes!
Seven + a half minutes, she talked at me, asking question after question but never waiting for the answer, filling every gap in which I might ‘interrupt’ her sales spiel, her agenda, her message.
At first I was gentle with my reminder of my meeting that I was now late for, explaining to her that I was glad to have heard from her but that I simply had to go.
She ignored me. Kept going. Kept talking.
At around the 5+ minute mark, I became more forceful, telling her that I had to go + that I would be in touch once I’d had time to look at her offering again + ascertain whether it was something that was of value to me at this time in my life.
That’s when she took it up a level, retorting in a judgemental voice…
“Well, let’s see about that. Let’s see if you do get back to me. Because most women who tell me that, never do. I’ll be very surprised if you do, but let’s see if you’re different.”
So now she’s basically telling me that I’m a liar. That she doesn’t believe me. That I’m going to be ‘just like everyone else’ who says they’ll get in touch, but never does. That I’m a phony, a fraud. That I don’t keep my word. Wow.
I closed the conversation down pretty quickly after that, probably unsurprising to you, dear reader.
HOW DID THAT WORK OUT FOR HER?
I’m not sure if the universe sends these interesting cases to us so that we can share them with you, but yeah, this really did happen.
Not only had I just spend 7.5 minutes of my time trying to get off a call I didn’t want, all the while being completely ignored, but then I was insulted.
“I don’t believe you…”
was the message I left that call with.
This business owner didn’t care about me as a potential customer. She didn’t care about my time. About my needs. About my meeting. She only cared about herself + what she wanted to tell me.
ARE YOU LISTENING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS?
Are you listening to your customers when they tell you…
‘I may not be ready to buy, but I am willing to consider you’
Is that enough for you?
Remember, customers go on a journey – they simply aren’t going to buy from you immediately, no matter how hard you try to convince them.
Remember the marketing rule of 7 which states that it takes an average of 7 interactions with your brand before a purchase will take place.
You can’t expect them to want to buy from you the very first time you meet. It’s just not realistic. + once you let go of this expectation, the kinder you’ll be to your customers, + to yourself.
HOW DO YOU WANT THEM TO FEEL?
How you treat your prospects on their buying journey is not only a reflection of your brand + of your values, it’s a reflection of how they can expect you to treat them when they do become a customer.
How do you want your customers to feel when they deal with you?
How did I feel after this first – + trust me, last – interaction with this business?
Insulted. Frustrated. Invisible. Unheard. Incredulous. Angry. + very very late!
I won’t be contacting this business again + have in fact, saved the number in my phone with the name of the business + DO NOT ANSWER beside it.
Probably not what you want potential customers to do!
Reflecting on this experience, I’ve come to the realisation that it’s probably less about the women this business owner says are her customers + their inability to hold a commitment (‘I’ll call you back’) as much as the way she makes them feel when she corners them, ignores their spoken needs, then insults them (telling them ‘you won’t call back!’).
Take a look at your systems, processes + your sales tactics before blaming your customers for their lack of engagement or purchases from your business. It might just be you that’s turning them off!