In today’s marketplace, you can’t waste precious time on bad sales leads that won’t pay off in the end. The use of the internet, advancing technology, and an ever-evolving competitive landscape, you have to bring your “A-game” each and every day or risk falling behind, or worse, failing. Back in the day, a great deal of drive, time and energy was put into every meeting. Prospects were sporadic and hard to come by, thus the time and focus on each and every one. It took time, attention and a lot of courting to get a sale. But, times have changed and if you’re still doing things the old way, you must reconsider what you’re doing and do it quickly.
It sounds a bit like the obvious, but you must learn how to properly qualify a lead. It can mean the difference between landing that big sale, contract or client, or wasting a lot time and, even worse, a lot of money. It’s imperative to take immediate control of the conversation and ask the right questions. If you do this properly, thoroughly, and with a bit of speed, you’ll be able to determine if your prospect is a solid lead or a dead end. One of the best pieces of advice any salesperson could receive and understand is to be prepared. Write out your questions and have a game plan.
The toughest thing to learn, whether you’re a rookie or an experienced salesperson, is knowing if and when a consumer lead is hot or simply not worth the trouble. You must see the big picture when a lead bites off a telemarketing or mailing list. Contain your enthusiasm and really consider where this “bite” might lead you in regards to the relationship. Consider budget, needs versus wants, their chain of command and their timeline. Nothing kills a sale quicker than an over-zealous sales person that simply doesn’t get the big picture.
Another mistake many people make is not asking the right questions. Write your questions down, if you need to, prior to the conversation. Avoid jumping into your sales pitch and talking about your product before first listening to your customer and understanding their needs.
Put to practice these basic sales habits and you’ll quickly be able to recognize those sales leads that are worth your time and those that are not. As they say, time is money.