According to the research you read and believe, the number of shopping trips ending in "No Decision Made" is about 50-60%.
Think about what that means. Of course, we are disappointed, it is a lost opportunity for us. We may have invested a lot of time, resources and energy in the competition to get the decision of the customer buying team.
But the real tragedy is the lost opportunity for the customer.
The tragedy of "No Decision Made" is that the client failed to achieve his goal. They failed to solve their problem. They miss opportunities that they have sought to attack.
Think about what the client has done to not make a decision.
They recognized the need to change, they saw an opportunity, they had a dream, they realized that there could be problems.
They committed to change – perhaps recognizing that the costs of doing nothing were likely to exceed the pain of change.
They organized a buying group to develop and implement a change plan.
They invested in learning – both to assess the internal situation, look for potential solutions, understand the risk factors and critical success in implementing a solution.
Yet at some point, their problem-solving process and their buying process frayed.
Perhaps they have not been able to align the agendas, priorities, and various agendas of the people involved in the buying process. Maybe they were struggling to buy – they just did not know how to go ahead by developing a solution and making a buying decision. Perhaps they were overwhelmed by the complexity of the problems involved. Perhaps, they have been disturbed by other priorities or other things going on in their organization.
Whatever the reason, the inability to make a decision represents a huge lost opportunity for our clients. An opportunity that has consequences on performance, finances and the market.
Vendors have a tremendous opportunity to help customers through this complex problem solving / buying process. Perhaps, if we are really focused on the success of our clients, we have the responsibility to do what we can to help reduce the risk that no decision will be made.
Where do we start in this process and how do we maximize the value we create with our customers?
The best starting point is perhaps the beginning: helping clients identify the opportunities they lack, the problems they may not have understood, the opportunities for growth and development. # 39; improvement. We can help them learn, creating a compelling need for change. We can help them understand the consequences of doing nothing and help them engage in the change effort.
We can continue through their problem solving and buying process. By teaching them, learning with them, helping them understand how to buy, perhaps by learning from other clients facing similar problems. We can leverage our own expertise in dozens of similar decisions, helping to facilitate their buying process.
We can show empathy with their challenge and the difficulties they face, while this could be a lost opportunity for us, for our clients, the risks can be much higher – their success and their personal and business future. We can demonstrate this empathy by recognizing the challenges they face and helping them manage the risks and challenges they face in solving the problem, making a decision, and implementing solutions.
Our customers have too much to do to end a purchase process with "No Decision Made". We create the greatest value with our customers by recognizing the challenges they face in making a decision and all the risks and other problems in making a decision and moving forward to solve their problem.
Afterword: Thanks to Noah Goldman for provoking my reflection on this subject.