Inbound Prospects and Desperate Princes

The movie Dracula Untold is yet another story where desperation drives a decision maker to make the hardest decisions. You might not know a decision maker faced with defending a against an advancing Turkish army, but there are many similar problems that drive them to make desperate deals.

But you know, maybe the biggest challenge is the fact that they see you as their Master Vampire.

In the movie, Vlad angrily refuses the demands of a warmongering Turkish sultan and finds his kingdom threatened with the prospect of a war. And predictably, it’s the typical war he knows he can’t win.

With no recourse in sight, he seeks the Master Vampire: a creature he earlier encountered and strikes a bargain that would inevitably transform him into the iconic prince of the night the world knows and fears.

Now you may not like being seen as the master vampire. Rather, you see yourself as a business of good standing. You want prospects to come to you out of trust and because of an established record.

It’s not about that.

Being perfect doesn’t mean the customers who come to you will be. It won’t make you somehow immune to the desperate types. Not only does this mean you have to identify them, it also means a special course of action could be needed when you do:

  • Assess the gravity of the problem – When you recognize that a problem could be quite big, you know that a conversation of equal weight is going to follow. Everyone in your marketing team should have an evaluation guide specifically for this.
  • Understand that costs no longer matter (for now) – Another challenge with desperate prospects is that they’re often too willing to pay. Then again, it’s hard to blame them. They’re faced with a huge problem that cannot be fixed so cheaply. Be honest about what the payment could mean in the long-term. (E.e. It could lock down their budget or bind them to sterner terms in your contracts.)
  • Clearly illustrate the point of no return –This isn’t just to dramatically foreshadow the sealing of one’s fate (as it did in the movie). In real life, it’s actually countermeasure against prospects who only think they need desperate measures. Publish a guide that can help prospects assess if it’s really too late. (Example: Hubspot’s Review of Easy-to-Fix Personal Branding Mistakes). You don’t want to waste fixing prospects who could easily fix themselves.

Spotting a desperate party requires a cool head in every phase of the buying process. You have to clearly state the terms and explain to them the fullness of what they’re asking. The truth it’s not just the master vampires of your industry that drive them.

It’s the problems that chase them.

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