Let’s discuss two sides of a question. While we all know that we should never prejudge anyone and should always give others the benefit of the doubt, what do we do when we just cannot get a concrete answer from a prospect? Do we keep trying to gain a commitment from someone who refuses to make a decision, or do we throw our hands up and walk away from future attempts to gain the prospect’s business?
We all have met this person, and we have heard the comments:
“I really want to do business with you, but…”
“As soon as I have cleared my schedule, we will meet and I’ll sign up with you.”
“I have committed my entire budget this year/quarter/month, but I’ll call you when I start planning…”
“Your product/service is perfect for us, but…”
Gratitude Marketing means that we stay in touch with people and acknowledge what they do for us and/or for other people. It does not mean that we keep beating on a dead horse or pounding our heads against the wall of rejection. When someone has more excuses than clients and more reasons to delay making a decision (no matter what it is), they probably cannot be motivated to change their decision to not make a decision.
When we practice Gratitude Marketing, we stay in touch with people who we appreciate and keep them in our networking relationships. We may never gain these networking partners as clients, but we should remain in relationships with them, pass referrals back and forth, and consider them as partners. We are never going to sign all our partners as clients, but we can keep them as partners in networking relationships.
People who cannot make a decision to become our client may not be able to make a similar decision to become our networking partner. We must recognize that situation and realize that the relationship will probably not become what we want it to be. Then we have a decision to make of our own, whether to stay in touch with the person and keep them in our contact list for future reference. Why not; what would it cost us?
The costs of operating a business include various expenses with varying purposes and results. To keep someone in our realm of contacts, staying in touch with them, and perhaps giving them information or referrals occasionally does not cost us much, especially when it is a part of our ongoing marketing. Then, maybe one day, that person will return a call with an inquiry to become a client.
Stop trying to lead people to the client table when they cannot decide what to do. If they probably will never become our client, or even a networking partner, we should devote time to those prospects who will. Just be patient, keep in touch, and keep giving to give, not to get. Let karma take its time and see what happens. Remember that everyone else we meet can be that next prospect, or client.