Sunday, April 2, 2017

Appointment Setting Tips – Buying on Time VS Paying on Time

Well, it’s the New Year and for most B2B organizations, this is the time appointment setting campaigns start working on follow-ups to vacationing prospects. Sure it’s not always so cut and dry. (It’s why the experts are recommending other tactics to support your overall B2B marketing strategy.)
When it comes to following up though, it’s important to know the difference between a prospect who can buy on time and a customer who has to pay on time. You know what that is?
The customer has already paid.
This sounds like an argument based on technicality but it’s one that can really hurt your sales and tarnish your brand image. When you’re dealing with a customer then you’ve obviously sealed the deal. You’re supposed to be making money already (regardless of what your payment model is).
That is not the same as when a prospect hasn’t paid at all. What you only have is a strong interest. Granted, you can argue that a strong interest in the business is enough to boost a sales rep’s chances. However, nothing is set until the sale has been made. You risk a lot by forcing them to ‘buy on time.’
Here’s how that can go horribly wrong:
  • Demand might not be strong enough – Demand is probably the biggest reason why hoping a customer will ‘buy in time’ isn’t as comparable as them actually paying on time. Scarcity tactics have their limitations. Much of these have to do with demand. If there’s not enough demand to get a prospect’s mind into thinking scarcity, there’s no point hoping they’ll ‘buy on time’ because they’d sooner take their time.
  • Competitors might compete on price – You’ll always have a competitor or two that try to beat you at the pricing game. Hoping a customer will buy on time is really another way of hoping nobody else will try to come up with a better product and a better cost. And obviously, this is just not a risk worth taking, especially in highly competitive markets.
  • Influence might not be big enough – Finally, things can get even worse if you don’t even have the influence to drive demand. It’s like the marketing version of a really bad bluff but you’re not even threatening your competitors, just your customers. Bad idea? Obviously. To exert any form of pressure on buyers, you need to have strong enough influence to stand on.
That’s not to say that following up on a prospect requires zero pressure. The good kind of pressure doesn’t rely on scarcity tactics that presume a customer has every incentive to ‘buy in time.’ There’s always the risk of low demand, price competitors, and lack of influence. Don’t start the new year with such poorly, misguided marketing tactic!

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