Learning the steps to eliminating buyer silence is necessary. Encountering buyer silence as you approach the point of purchase is not uncommon. In fact, it’s more common than you think.
But, silence in business is dangerous. Good feedback is excellent. Bad feedback spotlights areas of improvement. But, no feedback at all? Dangerous. Very dangerous.
If you are dealing with this, it’s not the time to worry about losing your prospect. It’s not even the time to conclude you have lost the prospect. We say this at the risk of sounding cliché. But a lot of the time, it really is not you. You’ve done nothing wrong. It is them.
Maybe they have important considerations to make before the buying decision. Maybe they need to wait for someone else’s approval. Maybe they need feedback on the deal from an accountant or lawyer they’ve contacted.
However, you still have to act fast. Research from Outreach is proof the chances of a prospect responding drops with every passing day. Hence, you must be proactive.
This is a part of the zing of being a business person. You cannot allow the deal to pass you by. But you also cannot wait for a miracle to make the prospect respond quicker. The same data from Outreach shows only 0.2% of prospects make a purchase after fourteen days of buyer silence.
The first step is to assess the possible reasons for buyer silence. Next up, we will provide a roadmap of the steps to eliminating that buyer silence. Depending on the unique situation, you can then decide on a plan of action to get a reply. Let’s get it!
What are the Possible Reasons for Buyer Silence?
Here’s why your buyer may be silent:
The Buyer is Still Reviewing Information
It is possible you gave the buyer a lot of information without following the rules for data visualization. In this scenario, reviewing the information may be more difficult.
You must give your buyer some time if this is the case. They will need it to look through, and possibly verify the information you have given them.
A part of the verification process may involve a lawyer or an accountant or both. This is most likely the case if you are dealing with a medium or large company.
Your prospect’s silence can also be because they are waiting for someone’s feedback. And, in some cases, the feedback has an important say as to the outcome of their response.
The Buyer Does Not Understand the Information
Say, you are in communication with a prospect. You send them some information. And suddenly, their replies stop coming in. You give them a few days. Yet, you still do not receive any replies.
This may be a good time to follow up your conversation with an email. It is possible the information you sent was not immediately clear to them.
The Buyer is Skeptical
It is not uncommon for prospects to flake out as the point of purchase draws near. The prospect of a debit alert from the bank may be a determining factor too.
This can happen, no matter how well you have presented the value you offer. In the same vein, the prospect may have doubts over your ability to deliver. All of this can add up to contribute to buyer silence.
How to Determine the Reason for Your Buyer’s Silence
Before diving into the steps to eliminating buyer silence, you will have to determine the real reason your buyer is silent. You don’t want to make the mistake of concluding the deal is off before it really is.
Here, the solution is easily represented using two words — contact them. To determine why your buyer is being silent, get in touch with them. But this will require some tact and wit on your part.
Start by sending a follow-up email. If you have access to fax through email technology, all the better. That could allow you to send all sorts of supporting or clarifying documentation.
In a follow-up email, you will not be asking your prospect to take any action. Do not try to hurry them into doing anything. Just ask for an update based on the last correspondence. Ask if they need clarification or more data to help them understand your value proposition.
It is possible there were errors in the information you may have missed. Maybe they did send an email which you managed to miss. If this is the case, you should consider using remote support software for small business. This will help prevent a future recurrence.
Remember not to try to get them to do anything. This is not the time for selling products. With enough tact on your part, a silent buyer may share the reason for their silence.
4 Steps to Eliminating Buyer Silence
In no particular order, here are effective steps to help you reopen a line of communication with the buyer once you know why they’ve gone silent.
Don’t Refer to Their Silence
The point of a follow-up email is breaking buyer silence. What you don’t want to do is give them more reasons to remain silent. A quick way to do this is to avoid spotlighting their silence.
Doing this will only make the buyer feel guilty. And, if they feel guilty, it’s more likely they will remain silent. Hence, never mention their silent response to past messages!
Change Your Call to Action
Your call to action (CTA) is an invitation to the prospect to do something. In the sales process, this is very important. You do not want to get a prospect excited about your perfect pitch and then leave them confused about what to do next. This is what happens when you have a poor call to action.
When dealing with a silent buyer, it’s best to choose a CTA with less commitment. This way, you are leaving the door open to building a relationship of trust with the client.
When there’s less commitment attached to a CTA, it gets more tantalizing for the prospect. Then, you can work on building a better relationship with them.
You can even change your communications platform altogether. For instance, you can choose to figure out how VoIP phone works and use it instead. Sometimes actually speaking to someone does still trump digital communication!
Ask Questions Unrelated to Business
At its core, buyer silence can happen because the buyer is not comfortable with the relationship they have with you. At least, they are not comfortable enough to make a purchase.
As such, even after you decide to change your CTA, don’t just pitch it to them straight away. Instead, aim to build a higher level of trust.
The best way to do this is by asking questions unrelated to business. You want to talk about subjects with the possibility of starting a meaningful conversation. For instance, you can try asking about a recent leave or a vacation.
Don’t Send Break-Up Emails
It may be tempting to head to your inbox or choose one of the best messaging apps for Android and “break up” with your prospect. Some business owners wrongly assume this will get a rise out of them.
Break up emails or messages are a sure way to cut off communication with a prospect permanently. And, they are an absolute no!
It is never a good idea to burn bridges in business. Sure, they may have been ignoring your onboarding emails. However, sending a breakup email is not a clever way to get a response from them.
Instead of sending a breakup email, try this. Send an email with the aim of achieving the following:
- Acknowledging they are not in sync with your company at the moment
- Affirming you will no longer bother them
- Promising to “check-in” on them in a few months
This way, you have not needlessly gotten rid of a lead. In fact, this means you can use other methods to convert the prospect in the future. For instance, you can try quiz marketing to convert the buyer.
With any of the above approaches, you have amicably closed the sales process. You have also left the door open for future collaborations. Genius, as far as we are concerned.
Bonus Tip: Aim for a Positive Experience over a Positive Reply
Too many sales representatives only look out for a positive reply. However, honestly providing the customer with a positive experience is more important. This is regardless of whether or not the buyer eventually makes the purchase.
Another way of wording this is to put the buyer’s needs above your own. They want the value you provide. On your part, address their pain points in your communication. When a prospect genuinely feels you care about their pain points, they are more likely to give a reply and pick up the conversation.
You Can Get a Response From Silent Buyers
The steps to breaking buyer silence can be summed up with empathy, creativity, and utility. If you can put yourself into your buyer’s shoes, it will be easier to address their pain points.
If you can keep your mind open to new ideas and CTAs, you will think of creative ways to restart a conversation. In the same vein, if you focus on the functionality of every word you type in an email, your intent will be clearer to your buyer. Good luck!
John Allen – RingCentral US
John Allen, is the “Billion Dollar SEO,” known for effectively scaling enterprise SEO teams.With over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs he currently directs all SEO activity for RingCentral,a global UCaaS, VoIP and call center solutions provider, globally. He has written for websites such as Hubspot and Toolbox. Here is his LinkedIn.