Tick Yes Blog

Tag - loyalty marketing

The Stupidity of Silence

For my sins, I’ve been brought up to say “please” and “thank you” and even, heaven forbid, open the door for ladies. I know that such behaviour is archaic, uncool and totally unexpected in today’s ‘every man for himself’ age, but it works for me.
That’s not to say that all people don’t appreciate manners. Take me, for example. Not surprisingly, I love it when people are polite. Mainly because it shows that they actually give a damn about our interaction.
That’s why it always astounds me when people in business don’t follow-up with a simple thank you email or even a note – when was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? – after we’ve had some type of interaction.
This is particularly the case when someone has unsuccessfully asked for a meeting, a job or a sale. Most of the time, if I say “no thank you” I get nothing back. Silence. They’ve moved on to new prospects because I didn’t give them what they wanted.
How stupid. As the old sales expression goes ‘No doesn’t mean no, it just means not now.’
For the cost of spending 2 minutes writing a “Thanks, sorry we couldn’t do a deal this time. Maybe we can work together in the future…” email, their last impression with me would have been a positive one. Instead, their silence showed me that the decision not to work with them was probably the right one.
We’re all in sales, so rejection comes with the territory. You have to look beyond today’s no and focus on the long-term relationship you can form with the person who has just rejected what you’re offering. It’s important to remember that they didn’t reject you, they rejected what you were selling.
Some of the best clients I’ve ever worked with said no for several years until the time was right for them to say yes. The only person who misses out if you don’t keep in touch with the person who just said “thanks but no thanks” is you.

Keep in touch. Keep showing up. Show you care. It’s the smart thing to do.
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DON’T Send Flowers (If You Want to Keep a Customer).

We all love added value. Unexpected treats work big time. Well, most of the time.
The following tale of woe falls into the category of ‘don’t do this at home’. In fact, doing it at home is fine; it’s when it happens at work that it becomes problematic.
What’s ‘it’?
Picture this scene: there’s me busily working away in the office minding my own business when a courier arrives bearing gifts. Or A gift.
Think of the biggest, most sumptuous bunch of flowers you’ve ever seen. Then double it.
Another key part of the picture was that working in the office alongside me was my beautiful, newly ensconced Hungarian girlfriend. Did I mention the fiery Hungarian thing? Anyway, you get the picture.
Everything that happened next seemed to be in slow motion.
The courier asked for me by name. Bewildered, like any self-respecting man would be as he confronted his impending doom, I answered. Yes, the flowers were for me.
Now I can’t begin to imagine what my girlfriend was thinking at that point but the two metaphorical holes that were being bored into the back of my head as I signed for the flowers gave me some clue.
They were from my new, young, and yes, female masseuse. This was her way of welcoming me to her practice. I never found out why she chose the very expensive option of sending flowers as a relationship building strategy. A hand written card would have worked just as well.
What happened next was, shall we say, sub-optimal. Now that some time has passed, I can say that Susan was ‘actively intrigued’ that a woman would send me flowers just to thank me for my patronage. OK, she was furious and she took a lot of convincing that I was the ‘victim’ of a misguided marketing strategy.
Not surprisingly, the flowers did not engender greater loyalty from me to my now former masseuse. As well-meaning as her strategy was, it failed the marketing 101 test: having empathy with how it will be received and, more importantly, perceived by the recipient.
Perhaps SHE’D love to receive flowers from a new supplier so why not send it to a new customer. Maybe she was single and didn’t have to consider how her partner would view her receiving a beautiful bunch of flowers from another person.
Frankly, I never found out. After a very short phone call explaining that what she did was not a fabulous idea from my perspective I haven’t spoken to her since.
Add value by all means but before you do so, consider how it will be received by the target market. If there’s even the slightest chance it could have a negative impact, don’t do it.
Make sure your “WOW!!” doesn’t turn into “WHAT?????”
 
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