Magazine article Marketing

What Do People Really Mean by the Reply 'No'?

Magazine article Marketing

What Do People Really Mean by the Reply 'No'?

Article excerpt

In recent years not a few hapless males have landed in the clink through fondly imagining a girl means 'yes' when she says 'no'. But do customers always mean what they say? Not if some work by our agency's tiny telemarketing unit is any guide.

We phoned some people who had been mailed six months earlier, and had either said 'no thanks', 'not now, later', or not replied at all. Not some, but most of them meant nothing of the sort. I feel vindicated by this because I have told sceptical clients for years that their easiest extra profit may come from people who may not seem keen, such as those who have enquired, but not bought. Indeed, it was partly to prove this to one client that we undertook this project.

Of sixteen people who responded with 'no thanks' to our mailing, ten said they were interested, but not yet. One actually had a change of heart during the call and decided to buy. Only five wanted to be taken off the mailing list - for practical reasons like lack of money, bereavement or in three cases because they had actually bought since then. Surprising, eh?

Of 56 who had said 'some other time', six ended up buying and six requested the details again. Very encouraging; but not nearly as good as results among those who hadn't replied at all. They had by far the highest sales-to-call ratio. Thirteen out of 24 are about to, or already have bought. Four actually made up their minds on the phone and said 'yes, please'. This was a big surprise to me because I've always found 'no' respondents tend to be better prospects than those who didn't reply at all. …

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