Why ‘prospects’ are not buying from you and what you can do to encourage them to do so.
‘Trust is a calculation of the likelihood of future cooperation (Williamson 1993), and organisational behaviour, where trust is the expectation that another’s actions will be beneficial rather than detrimental as well as the generalised ability to take for granted a vast array of features of the social order (Creed and Miles 1996).’
All companies, regardless of sector, have prospective customers which they need to develop and sustain lasting relationships with in a way that sets them apart from others in their sector. Not having an effective strategy in place for dealing with prospects obviously leads to lost potential revenue, plus a waste of time and effort in identifying the prospects in the first place. You can beaver away all day talking to prospective customers and still walk away empty handed - never a good feeling. In this blog we look into why prospective customers are not buying from you and what strategies can be employed to encourage activation.
Prospective customers will only purchase from you if they trust you, particularly if your product is not a necessity. In fact, most first purchases are not lost because of price or benefit, but rather a lack of rapport and trust between the prospect and the brand. This outcome tends to be most prevalent when there has been little or no effort to identify and understand who your potential customers are and why they want to purchase from you. In the digital / data age, this is often due to a failure in managing customer data so it can be used effectively across the organisation.
To address this, more and more companies are adopting a single-customer-view (SCV) which allows them to segment their customers into highly effective groups based on a range of purchase, demographic and behaviour attributes. Once in place organisations with a SCV are able to easily identify and separate ‘prospects’ from ‘existing or returning customers’ and communicate with them accordingly. The type of communications prospective customers should receive ought to promote trust rather than push for a purchase from the outset. These initial communications should;
begin to build the relationship;
get to know the prospect better;
help the prospect get to know you better;
Much of this work can be done through an automated process, delivered through a series of communications staggered over the early weeks or months of a prospects relationship with your brand. Following this period, where hopefully trust has been gained, this group can be migrated to the next stage in the sales process where more focus is placed on encouraging a first purchase.
More prevalent in some industries, particularly those that offer non-essential goods, it is possible that there is simply no chance of the prospective customer making a purchase. For example, take a luxury watch, whilst a customer may engage with the brand due to liking the product there is not real necessity to purchase it, however building up a relationship can still be important for the brand.
However, some customers can be swayed by brands discounting or offering limited offers to prospective customers. This is particularly common in a number of sectors, where prospective customers are welcomed with discounts with the hope of many repeat purchases moving forward. The content and type of communications can also aid in creating a sense of urgency, for example the inclusion of countdown timers alongside limited offers can be very powerful to influence a customer’s purchase. SMS can also be highly effective (for the right product) to create a sense of urgency, particularly as the open rate of text messages is so high.
In short, it’s not rocket science - the more you know about your customers and engage them accordingly the better your results will be. Treat them all the same with little or no personalisation and you will get mediocre returns, especially if your competitors are ahead of you and have a SCV in place!
To find out how a single-customer-view could benefit your organisation get in touch and we will get right back to you.