In Education

5 Tips for Identifying a Costly Lead

In the sales world, time is money. If you invest excessive time in a lead that never closes, you have no return for your time spent – in monetary terms, that’s like investing in the sole rights to the refrigerator market in the Antarctic.

Sure, it’s hard to toss leads away. Each has the potential to be a moneymaker – but every lead also has the potential to be a money loser in terms of wasted time. With a bit of detective work, you can find out which leads to disqualify and which to nurture.

1. Ease of Contact

Everyone is busy these days, but if your contact simply can’t be reached after multiple attempts and different contact methods, it’s probably time to move on. You must decide your cutoff point and patience level based on your own needs and operating preferences. FYI, LeadPoint offers programs in which you don’t pay if you can’t contact a lead.

2. Find the Decision Maker

Is your lead a dead-end simply because you have been talking to the wrong person?  A skilled gatekeeper can lead you in circles before you realize that you need to take the conversation to the next level. Don’t give up without input from the real decision-maker.

Try to convince the gatekeeper of the value of your services, and how it would be to his or her advantage to pass that information on to the boss.

3. Know your Client’s Needs

A sales relationship is a two-way street. Your goal is to have a satisfied customer and make money in the process. What is your client’s goal? Is it straightforward or wishy-washy?

It’s one thing for a potential client to be unsure about what option they want, but it’s another when they are unsure whether to act at all.  Try to gauge the commitment level in increments. Are they at least willing to admit that your offering can provide benefits to them?

If you can clearly identify a client’s problem and show how your offering can solve it, you’re well on your way to closing a sale.

4. Verify the Budget

A potential client may be fishing for options, or they may just be browsing with no intention of buying because it’s not in their budget. Carefully assess whether they have the budget to proceed to sale, or if they are just a looky-loo.

Try discussing your offerings in terms of value levels per dollar spent. Complete disinterest in the topic suggests an insufficient budget. Unrealistic price expectations suggest that you’ll lose money even if you do make the sale. In either case, move on.

5. Timelines

Patience is good – up to a point. If a client is putting you off indefinitely, there is a valid reason for it. Set your criteria for a deadline for action, and stick to it.

Prioritize Your Leads

Every garden needs weeding every so often, and your lead pipeline does as well. Use the above steps to weed out contacts that have little chance of success and focus on those with greater potential.  Let somebody else figure out how to exploit the Antarctic refrigerator market. Penguins are said to be very tough negotiators.

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