It's September 2004. And the mountain, St. Helens is at it again.
She's burping, gassing, and throwing hissy fits. But doing nothing more than that.
And then in October, with little or no warning, the mountainside explodes.
The mountain top lost 1,300 feet of height, the valley of the North Toutle River filled with 3 billion cubic yards of rock, ash, snow and ice. Some of the landslides moved so rapidly, they bounded over the top of a mountain ridge and exploded on the other side. Trees that were as many as seven miles away, felt the intense heat, landslides and were covered with ash deposits.
But hey, that's not your client, right?
Your client is no St. Helens. No hissing, no…ahem…burping or gassing. In fact, right after your client sits right in the dead zone. They either bought something from you, and haven't bought anything since. Or even worse, they've bought nothing at all. They keep getting emails, or marketing material from you. You pound them with advertising, but they're deader than dodos.
But are the clients ‘dead', or are your methods dead?
There are many reasons why clients remain dormant or dead. And it's prudent to step through just why they're not responding as they should.
So let's start with the obvious:
1) The clients are not getting your message
Don't be ridiculous, you say. Your mail goes to the right address. Your email heads straight to their in-box. Oh, is it? How do you know? How on earth would you know that they were actually getting it?
Just because your marketing is headed to the right address, doesn't mean it's sitting in the right box. If you're using email marketing, all your emails may be headed to a pre-arranged folder that the client means to read, but never does. (Hint: Change the email address you're sending from).
If you're sending marketing via regular mail, it might be going to the right box, but the client has moved homes. And the new owner can't be bothered to ‘unsubscribe'. So there you are, thinking you're sending to the right client, when in fact, it's the wrong client. Ergo: Clients aren't getting your message.
2) Your message isn't compelling enough
You think your message is compelling. Your business partner thinks so. Your parakeet thinks so. The client doesn't think so. Your message bores the client to bits. This is because you could be making several mistakes. Some of the most elementary mistakes are mixing up attraction with conversion factors.
Another mistake that most businesses make is they appeal to the ‘need factor', instead of what the client really ‘wants.' Of course, there are dozens of mines, when you're trying to persuade, and unless you have a comprehensive checklist of what to put in your messages, you're going to miss out crucial components. Sad, but true.
3) You've not created the first step
Yes, so you've followed the rules, and kept marketing to the client. And oui, your client database is up to date. And God knows that everyone who sees your message says that the offer is extremely compelling. So what's keeping the darn client from buying your product/service?
It's called the first step. A first step that clients as well as volcanoes need to take. Something needs to trigger off the reaction. Something has to start the boiling, the hissing and the burping. And that something could be a free event that you hold.
It could be a lower-priced item that you offer to start the reaction. It could be an outstanding offer, which gives a bunch of goodies that just can't be resisted by the client. Look at your local supermarket for instance. They offer a few items at rock bottom price, probably making little or no money at all on these specific items, but the rest of the products are at regular or even higher price.
So what's the first step got to do with clients?
Volcanoes are powerful reminders that the Earth isn't some piece of zzzz rock, but a planet with boiling heat and pressure. Your client (dead as he may seem) is just as ‘unstable.' They're aware of you, but you haven't built up enough pressure for them to explode.
Magma flows under the surface long before it explodes over the top as lava and rock. Create an outlet for ‘magma' and over the years, as the magma enters cooler surroundings, it gets a boost from buoyancy. As the magma continues rising, falling pressure liberates high-pressure gas that was trapped inside it.
And then it's kaboom time!
Unfortunately clients aren't as easy to detect as volcanoes
If every client hissed, burped and gassed at you, you'd know who to concentrate on. But clients don't do any of the above. So you've got to get them to get one purchase under their belt, and then work towards increasing consumption. The more they consume, the more they tend to consume.
Which brings us to the moral of the story
If you look for a volcanologist, you'll find him or her watching the volcano that's already showing signs of life. There are thousands of mountains on the planet. But the volcanologists aren't hanging around every darned mountain. They make pretty sure that they hang around the ‘live ones.' As you should do too. You're largely wasting your time worrying about clients that don't seem to buy. Once a client ‘explodes' they tend to ‘explode' on a frequent, predictable basis.
Make sure your clients are getting the message. Make sure the message is compelling. And yes, initiate a first step to get clients interested. But the real fireworks are always where the hissing, burping and the gassing already exist.
That's really where you want to be. 🙂