Customer UnderstandingMarketing Performance

They Didn’t buy… Arghhhh

By March 29, 2016January 26th, 2021No Comments

They didn’t buy. What are you going to do now?

There are three options available to your prospects when they talk to you about buying your product or services:

  • To buy from you
  • They buy from someone else
  • Alternatively, they do nothing

Obviously the first option is your preferred one, but what happens if they decide to do one of the other two? What do you do if someone is foolish enough(!) to not buy from you?

Stage One

In the privacy of your office, curse them for making the wrong decision.

Stage Two

Thank them for considering you and assure them you are here for them in the future, should they wish to discuss things again.

Stage Three

Ask for feedback on why they didn’t buy from you.  This can be vital information for the future, as it a) helps you learn what could have been done better to improve your sales process and b) gives you a good indication of whether there could be an opportunity in the future.

Stage Four

Keep in touch. Too many companies make the mistake of stopping to talk to their prospects just because they didn’t buy. Let me explain why we believe this is the last thing you should do.

After making a decision not to buy from you, there will come a time when a repurchase is needed. Whether this is because they’ve seen the error of their ways, it is time for renewal or they need more, they have (again) three options:

  • They buy again from the supplier they chose last time
  • To buy from you
  • To buy from a third party

The more you have maintained awareness, the more likely you are to be the preferred supplier this time around. After all, they were impressed enough to talk to you last time. With research suggesting as much as 77% of the buying process is done prior to a B2B buyer talking to a salesperson, you did pretty well last time. By keeping in touch and maintaining a relationship, you are really well placed to be shortlisted again.

So what do you do?

Ensure they are on your mailing list, and they have been tagged or segmented to show they are a prospect (they are always going to be a prospect until they unsubscribe) and that you have pitched to them before. By doing this you make sure they only get relevant content.

Content for them is different. The content will refer to your previous conversations: as I am sure you’ll remember…

It will build upon content and information you have sent them before: here are some of our latest case studies…

It will keep them up to date: we’ve added functionality/skills/whatever they told you was missing….

Big Data can help

Do you have web analytics that shows you how individuals interact with your website? If not, I recommend CANDDi. Imagine this scenario:

Your web analytics data shows an ex-prospect looked at your website. Perhaps they’d clicked through from your latest email campaign or they had simply searched online for you. Either way, you give them a call to “see how things are going“. A response along the lines of “that’s funny, I was just looking at your website“, followed by “what a coincidence, let’s have coffee and catch up” and you have a real chance to complete what you started last time.