Never underestimate silence….

A while back i was compiling a master email list for everyone that has contacted me through on of my blogs.

I make myself fairly available for interaction with my readers and customers, through blog comments forms, contact us forms, direct email, and even facebook page messages and tweets.

So in an effort to better stay in touch with everyone, I started compiling this master list that will enable me to email out updates and news to my readers and fans.

While i was doing this activity, several names and addresses popped out at me… and eventually I had to go back and re-read my conversations with my readers.

What I realize now, is that more than half of my sales, were generated from people I had talked to, helped, and advised earlier. Sometimes as far back as 6 weeks earlier (which explains why their names sounded familiar but at the same time I couldn’t exactly remember them personally).

Originally my comment is this:

“Never underestimate MY silence, because I keep a very long ‘to do’ list on my back-burner. And this list, I execute selectively and opportunistically”

This is very much true of my personality because I often perform assessments of my situation (personal, financial, emotional) and devise in my head a plan or a path towards my goal.

However, executing these plans is not always cost effective… especially when you have complex plans that require group orchestration or a group performance (weather this group is based on a group of people, or on a group of systems is besides the point).

So in classic management speak, these tasks and plans are very important, but not necessarily critical… furthermore, they may not even be POSSIBLE in the current situation.

I’ll give you an example.. say I do an analysis of my portfolio on the stock market and realise that ABC stock is undervalued by 25%. There are 4 months left till the end of the financial year, when the company will announce it’s growth in profits over last year (which I can see now from the last 3 quarterly reports and predict forward). So my purchase of this stock, although very important to the overall growth of my portfolio,  is not critical because I have from now up until the profits announcement to make my purchase.

This can be even more extreme if say I am currently fully invested in the market and have a 0% liquidity to assets ratio in my portfolio. Simply speaking, I want this stock but I can’t buy it till the situation changes… the decision is made, but the task goes on my long ‘back burner to do list’.

Here is the tricky part of this situation. Although everything I’ve said so far sounds completely reasonable, most people will not give you this much slack when looking at your performance.

The lack of trading transactions in your portfolio looks to your broker as a lack of interest in the market, just as much as a lack of busy work from you in the office looks like lack of interest from you in your job. Even if, you already have an amazing report planned for your manager, but are waiting for specific numbers you requested from the Sales department to make your case and grow the company.

People are mostly swayed by what they see, rather than what you think, have analysed or have decided to do.

Going back to the customer scenario.

A lack of sales activity from your customers, does not mean that they are not interested in the product. It does not mean that they don’t care about what you’re doing. It does not mean that they don’t trust you. It does not mean that they don’t want or need the product.

I know from personal experience (shopping for car performance parts online) that I personally my put a product in my shopping cart at an e-commerce store 10 times (yes 10 different visits to the store) before I’m finally sure that I’m ready to buy, I have the cash, it is important, and that in fact I am ordering everything I need this time around (and nothing more and nothing less).

So now if that is true for me, it must be true for my own customers, they will visit, read, browse, think, look for competitors, compare prices, rethink the situation, talk it over with their friends, google your company and product for feedback and recommendations, search you on facebook or twitter for comments and warnings, maybe hear about something negative and look you up in the better business bureau …

All of this before finally eliminating all their doubts, coming back, and clicking your ‘buy now’ button.

In a world with so many options, so many experts, so many blogs, so many reviewers, and so much information,,, it is understandable that your customers may take LONGER to commit to the sale.

Do not mistake this ‘transaction silence’ for lack of interest. Do spend your time proven to them, through constant steady nurturing, that you are in fact there to stay, to produce quality content, information, products and services, that they have nothing to worry about, and that ultimately when they do choose to purchase that they will get more VALUE back from you than the MONEY they had spent on your product or service. The occasional ‘sale’ doesn’t hurt either ;) (for those price sensitive shoppers that keep telling themselves that they would buy it if it were slightly cheaper… no reason not to call their bluff so long as it doesn’t hurt your bottom line…)

Never under-estimate silence, some of us keep a long to do list on the back burner,  and execute opportunistically.

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