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Applying the BLENDS™ Model in Re-Building Credibility When Your Product, Service or Organization Has Bottomed Out in The Markets Mind!

So, you have arrived to your role as the selling professional for your organization and realize that your market has a bad taste in their mouth as it relates to your offer and organization. Don’t retreat and don’t feel as if there is nothing you can do.

Start by recognizing that your first objective is not win them back as customers or champions (Centers-of-Influence) of your offer or even to you right now, it is merely to re-condition the market to consider looking at you and re-evaluating their perceptions of you. It’s back to basics, you have to sale you and earn the markets trust of you ‘personally’ before the market ever moves to re-considering your organization and offers.

You can strategically determine your intervention action plan for winning them back to you, by consider the following action plans:

  • Archive a specific list of market concerns, reactions, opinions of you and your organization that has bottomed out to have left a negative imprint on them. Don’t take this market research or exit-interviews of lost recent clients personally, it is their perspective and at this point, remember the adage – Perception is Reality!
  • Then before you even consider making contact with the market, ensure that you have in fact addressed the most significant issues and concerns with yourself and all of the stake-holders within your organization to determine sequential steps to address, respond, engage in damage control, demonstrate with resounding examples and evidence that you are not as the perceptions reveal and that you are worthy.
  • To make sure you have righted this ‘credibility gap’, become a mystery customer to your own organization and learn first hand if in the fact the concerns have been righted. If you experience any challenges, then imagine how this will be amplified in the eyes and mind of the market that already has a negative view of you, if they were to undergo that imperfect experience, again. You may get a second opportunity to win them back, but you will not get three win-back opportunities!

Determine if you want to win-back the market, one strategic high impact influencer at a time or make a major community splash? Consider the following six tactical wins back options:

  • B – Boost … A Boost from a satisfied customer can serve as a reason to make an instant telephone call, send an email, text or leverage a post within social media to a like organization. Your reference to the satisfied customer of how they are experience wins with and through you or a recommendation from them, may serve as a more valuable re-contact than anything you may be able to say on your own as an additional energy boost in your presentation to entice them to come back and check-you out!
  • L – Letter … Craft a thoughtful Letter or series of letters as a strategic and quantity regulated direct mail or email contact campaign whereby you introduce yourself as a new person on the scene, acknowledge from your research how your organization (product, service or previous colleagues, without calling anyone out by name) had failed the market in the past, self-effacing statements of ownership are powerful and then you can transition their heart and mind to the new you and personally invite them to check-you out. Leave your bounce back contact information, like personal cell number, should they be compelled to want to contact you, and reference that you will be personally contacting them in the next few days and that you would appreciate a few minutes of their time to discuss the information and ideally value-added invitation or offer contained in your Letter.

    Another iteration of the Letter approach could be the re-use of any appreciation letter or email from an enthusiastic client just served, take that content and package it into a letter that you can forward electronically to prospects, with a bounce back (call to action statement or offer), and likewise follow up with telephone calls or text as appropriate.

  • E – Examine Evidence … Re-examine all the evidence, facts, CRM data bases, client files, invoicing, correspondence with predecessors, etc., as to why individual past clients from your data base have left (this is the same for previous Centers-of-Influence lead generators) your organization. If you can not more than surpass the previous problem, don’t contact them about returning to your organization. If the evidence reveals that the reasons that they have left have been addressed, solutions previous not offered now are available, then you have earned an opportunity to make contact with them.
  • N – Needs Analysis … Offer to administrate a non-fee needs analysis as a value- added service to them. Consider what you have or what abilities individuals within your organization possess and how those could be made available to individual and key prospects one at a time from a value-added perspective? Then, make contact with the market and make that ability available to them as a community service differentiator. Show them how you can assist them from their need perspective, and when legitimately possible work in a solution offer from your organization!
  • D – Do something … The longer you wait to win them back, the faster you will arrive at unemployment or bankruptcy. Take action and do something.
  • S – Sampling … Another great way to re-engage lost market contacts, clients, supporters, is to consider what deliverables, services, swag, etc., that you may have, that they may desire and offer that to them FREE. It’s like a free taste test in the grocery store, hard to say no to and once tried and liked, you want more of it.

Other ideas for how to approach lost clients, market prospects, and those loyal advocates when the market has soured on you, could be:

  • Have an Open House…
  • Have a Theme Party …
  • Establish Quarterly events to attract different affinity groups to you …
  • Partner with a high impact group, charity, club, etc. that your co-promotion with them would draw other influencers and possible users of your offer …
  • Look for unique places to place your name whereby you can reach new buyers …
  • Identify completely new and different markets for your offer that have never heard of you and would not have heard negative things from you from previous disappointed customers …
  • Recognize that consumers make their buying decisions based off of any one of four behavioral criteria. Therefore, you have to be able to position yourself so as to convey to the market how your offer now can be:
    1. Better for them than anything presently available to them
    2. Faster and therefore more efficient for their needs than anything else presently being made available
    3. Different than anything else presently being offered
    4. Cost effective (cheaper) than what is presently being offered in your brand and quality category
  • Have high influence consumers or community, industry, trade personalities craft an endorsement letter to your target audience on your behalf …
  • Make a list of the top ten prospects that you would like to attract and then personally call on them to re-introduce your organization, product, or services and how you have re-committed resources to making this an association they can have confidence within once again …
  • Look for consumers of your competition right now that may be making an annual or seasonal buying decision, contact them to introduce yourself as an option for consideration for their next buying decision. Ask if you can take the responsibility to contact them prior to their buying decisions time window and then make a note in your information management system to remind you when that time arrives …
  • Develop a value-added resource vehicle that you can use to simply stay connected with clients, advocates, prospects, and lost past customers. Maybe it could be a newsletter, value-added blog, an electronic newsletter, a regular direct mail campaign, etc. that provides high impact value to them, and indirectly promotes you, on-line resource portal, etc.. This allows you to stay top-of-their-mind and then when a future need on their behalf rises, you may eventually have an opportunity to win their business back. This is a passive action and it may take some time to produce results, however in the big picture and long-term perspective this can yield significant gains!
  • Calendar follow-up re-occurring touch-point endeavors into Outlook or a system to hold you virtually accountable to do this and continue to do this as necessary!

So, now the initial feeling of frustration and hopelessness that you have arrived to your role as the selling professional for your organization and realize that your market has a bad taste in their mouth as it relates to your offer and organization, is manageable and resolvable. Don’t retreat and don’t feel as if there is nothing you can do, now let’s allow your professional selling power to shine!

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