If you’re in sales, you’ve inevitably come across those leads that seem genuinely interested,
but regardless of how much you talk to them on the phone and trade e-mails, never commit to anything more than the next call or next e-mail. You can waste time agonizing over a relationship with a lead that isn’t going anywhere, or you can spare yourself months, or even years, of slow-burning rejection by sucking it up and facing reality: Your sales lead just isn’t that into you.
The easiest way to avoid wasting time building relationships with leads that are never going to sign on the bottom line is by working with better leads lists. A truly ideal client isn’t a company that is simply compatible with your organization, but one that wants or needs you—even if it doesn’t know it yet—as much as you want or need it.
Unqualified leads or leads that haven’t been scored properly are the social equivalent of the guy or girl who accepted your invitation to the junior prom not because you were his or her dream date, but because there didn’t seem to be any harm in accepting. (Ouch! The memory still stings a little bit, doesn’t it?) At Vendere Partners, we believe that every lead that comes to you should be qualified according to your criteria for an ideal client, and should be scored as either hot, warm, or in need of nurturing so that you can easily determine which leads to focus on first and how to approach each lead.
If you need better leads lists, Vendere can hook you up. In the meantime, here are some questions that can help you determine whether you’re currently working with a lead that just isn’t that into you:
1. Has your lead told you more about the goals his fifth grader’s soccer team made last season than about his company’s goals?
2. Have you sent your lead invitations to your upcoming sales events and received e-mail replies such as, “Best wishes on your upcoming event!” instead of RSVPs?
3. Do you find yourself giving so much free advice to your lead that you feel more like Dear Abby than you do a sales professional?
4. Are you fairly certain that the lead with whom you’ve been communicating for months doesn’t know your last name?
5. Has your lead ever tried to sell you her company’s products?
6. Would you rather attend a lecture on rock collecting than pick up the phone and call your lead again?
Don’t throw your time away on leads that like you enough to take your call, but aren’t interested enough in your organization’s products and services to connect you with other decision makers within their companies and take things to the next level. You’re a sales professional. Your time is gold. It should be spent communicating with qualified and scored leads that see it that way.