Stop spending your time chasing after prospects that will never buy anything from you.
Every sales professional has them. Those deadly lingering prospects. The ones that never buy anything. They say, “Not just yet….” They say “Not quite ready….” They say, “Call me back in a couple of weeks…” or “Call me back in a month…” or “Call me back in six months…” over and over and over. And you do call them back over and over and over and they never buy anything. They say, “Not just yet….” They say “Not quite ready….” They say, “Call me back in a couple of weeks…” or “Call me back in a month…” or “Call me back in a few months…” over and over and over.
We’ve all been there. Calling that prospect, hoping this time will be different, hoping this time they’ll say, “yes” and that this call will make up for all the previous calls and all the time spent. Besides, if you don’t call them, then maybe your competition will… The nightmare… Your prospect that you’ve been pursuing for years now will buy from someone else. You don’t want that to happen. Oh no! And so, you do call them again and they don’t buy anything. They say, “Not just yet….” They say “Not quite ready….”
How do you end this vicious cycle that breaks so many sales professionals’ hearts? Step 1: Identify and only pursue qualified prospects. Step 2: Ask the tough questions in order to qualify prospects out. Ask questions about the process, the budget and how that decision will be made. Ask the questions that you need to ask to determine that you are indeed speaking with a qualified prospect. If you’re not, they won’t buy anything from you. As soon as your prospect gives you information that tells you that you’re no longer speaking with a qualified prospect, stop pursuing that prospect.
Some times prospects do have legitimate reasons for asking you to call back at a later date. And that’s ok. If a prospect has a legitimate reason, then by all means call them back when they have asked you to call back. If, however, your prospect has not explained why they want you to call back at a later date then make sure to ask:
“(Prospect’s name), I understand and am happy to call you back. Let me ask you a question though: What will have changed between now and (whenever they said to call back) that will enable us to move forward?”
If your prospect cannot give you some assurance that you will be working together, stop pursuing that prospect. They are not going to buy from you.
Letting go of prospects is hard to do. The good news is that when you let go of inappropriate prospects, the ones who will never buy from you, that will free you to pursue real prospects. The ones that say, “yes.”
© 2021, Wendy Weiss