Posts Tagged ‘qualified prospects’

Every Prospect Wants to Buy, Really?

In a private email I received, the writer who I am presuming is a marketing consultant wrote this statement:

Every prospect wants to buy.

My reaction was really?

Maybe there is a semantic challenge in the word prospect from my perspective.  In business and more specifically within the overall sales process, the word prospect usually suggests someone who may have an interest in your solution (products or services) compared to a suspect who does not fit your decision making buying criteria. Another term is a sales lead. They key word in this definition is “may.”

Top sales performers understand the difference between a prospect and a qualified prospect or hot sales lead.  Those buying qualifications or criteria usually include:

  1. Actual decision maker (signs the contract) and there may be more than one in a complex sale
  2. A want or need is present
  3. An allocated budget exists
  4. Urgency to take action

During the last several years, I have added this fifth criteria:  Commitment to take action.  Even if the first four criteria are present, unless the decision maker is committed to taking action, you as the seller will remain pocket poor.

Personally I do not believe every prospect wants to buy my solutions.  This is why I encourage my clients to find qualified prospects based upon their research and separate the prospects from the qualified prospects ASAP from their marketing efforts. Prospects (unqualified potential customers) are a waste of time.

One analogy I use (being raised in Northern Wisconsin) is if you are going fishing for Northern Walleye Pike, why fish where there are only bass or sunfish? Sure those fish are prospects in that they buy the bait, but is that the fish you truly want?  Additionally the bait or lure for Walleye is a little different than the bait for bass or sunfish.

In business and in life, the words we think, write and speak each have a unique meaning to us.  This is why it is critical to come to a shared understanding especially when those words are critical to the purpose and mission for the organization as well as the individual.

So, what do you think of this question: Every prospects wants to buy?  I look forward to reading your respectful comments.

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Why Buying Rule #1 Reigns Supreme To Increase Sales

Yesterday I received this email message from a shared LinkedIn discussion group.

Subject Line: Quick Question

Hi Leanne

Quick Question, would you be Interested in Increasing Your Online Business/Online presence and ROI with Zero Rick and Money Involvement? (Click on link)

Regard

(First Name)

My less than positive immediate reactions in this order were:

  • Who in the heck is this person who sent this e-mail to me?
  • How do I know him?
  • Why did he send me this email?

If you noticed, all my immediate reactions centered around the individual who sent me the email.  The number one buying rule generated these strong negative reactions and why I believe it reigns supreme:

#1 – Buying Rule – People buy from people they know and trust.

Being somewhat old, I checked to see if I knew him. Not really as our only connection was one group and one shared contact.  I then checked to see if we had exchanged any other emails. Again, the answer was no.  Nor was this person in my general email data base.

Since this person was attempting to sell me something specific to technology, at least for me, I need to know this person because I have seen so many people bring duped by the next greatest and best thing that will increase sales, provide residual income, etc. This email reminded of another recent direct email that I received at the beginning of the  fourth quarter of 2010 from  Dan Waldschmidt.  During the last year, I had come to  know him through some more personal contact such as interactions on a couple of blogs, telephone conferences and several emails during the last 6 months.

Dan approached me for a telephone appointment to discuss his technology related tool – IntroMojo.  Even though I was skeptical because that is my nature, I scheduled the appointment because I knew him and had trust in him.

Possibly if you are engaged in commodity selling, then sending an email blast or message with a “no risk” factor may move your qualified prospects or potential customers to investigate further. However for more savvy buyers, my personal sense is such marketing actions fall dead in the water and only give those potential customers an overall negative viewpoint of you, your company and your products or services.Sales Training Coaching Tip:  The 5 sales objections buckets are always present and in many instances price (the forth bucket) surfaces only because sales objections buckets one and two had not been addressed.

These negative impressions are the foundations for further sales objections.  And smart crazy busy sales people know the very last thing they want to do is to laid any sales objections seeds.

Violation of the #1 buying rule sets up the first obstacle that prevents sales professionals from their goal to increase sales. This is why this rule reigns supreme.

Graphic courtesy of Bing Images – www.wikimedia.org

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Time Is A Non-Renewable Resource

In spite of so many people have time management issues, when I ask folks if they waste 12 minutes a day, I always get 100% positive response to that question. One of my colleagues, Laura Novakowski, has taken that question into her practice and she explains in greater detail on her Positive Power Strategies blog the impact of redirecting wasted time.

Time is a non-renewable resource. Once those seconds, minutes, hours, days and year pass by they will never ever return. Of course maybe that is why the fascination with time travel such as in H.W. Wells The Time Machine to Back to the Future.

The Internet allows people to truly conserve time provided they have invested some of those critical resource minutes to find sites where value is always present. For me one of those sites is Sales Gravy. Jeb Blount has a highly visited site and his Sales Gravy ezine is always chocked full of good ideas and resources. Today, there was a free sales meeting agenda provided by Meeting to Win.

Upon receiving it, I used a url shortner and then:

  • Did a couple of  tweets
  • Emailed it off to a couple of potential clients

Since my goal is to be the guru or invaluable as noted sales expert Jill Konrath explains in her new book Snap Selling, using time well is absolute necessity.  By  doing so I help my clients and demonstrate to potential clients (a.k.a. qualified prospects) my value because I am saving them time.  Just think for a moment what would happen if you could conserve with your customers a non-renewable and very expensive resource? Imagine the possibilities?

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To Increase Sales May Require A Brain Correction

To increase sales may mean a brain correction in how a salesperson approaches today’s potential customers (a.k.a. qualified prospects). On Thursday, May 27, 2010, I attended a Webinar sponsored by Med Career Village where I heard Jill Konrath, author, of How to Sell to Big Companies, discuss her new book, Snap Selling.

Credit: TopNewsIn

Jill made some excellent points about “busy, crazy prospects” or buyers. These folks are the same ones identified by Michael Gerber in the E-Myth and the E-Myth Revisited only probably even busier. Sales Coaching Training Tip:  Busy crazy people are psychographics – the whys behind why people buy.

The best point she made was salespersons need to be flexible, to change their brains (think behaviors) when their qualified prospects change. I call this being ahead of the flow in my book, be the Red Jacket.

Her use of SNAP as an acronym was great as well.  When you keep your message Simple, it does sell and sells well. The human brain can only accommodate about 7 bits of information (think words). Some people can double that through the use of  “chunking.”

Of course, some sales experts may disagree with her approach because they believe in long, well crafted sales letters.  These long sales letters  may work for “unbusy” people, but my sense tells me for those higher up in the decision making process especially in larger organizations, they are not as effective as ones where simplicity rules.  Note: If you wish to learn the rest of the acronym, I suggest you buy her book, Snap Selling. And no I am not receiving any commissions. 🙂

Being flexible, open to change,  is truly a talent and one that all individuals need in today’s high pace ever evolving world. Unfortunately, most people do not know their talents and this keeps their brains working harder not smarter.

Bottom line, and that is what really counts, is to increase sales requires a reexamination of the whys (psychographics) behind the decision making process to buy your products or services.  And then understanding how your talents (think brain) work with those whys especially if they are changing.

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When Free Is Not Free Turns Off Qualified Prospects

Another free offer just came into the email box.  This offer stated 100% free for an ebook on sales. Okay, yes, I know if it sounds too good to be true it usually is, but what the heck!

So like a conditioned dog, salivating for another treat, I clicked and was taken to a “squeeze page” (actually had to think about this term because I so dislike it).  Filled in my name and email address again like a well conditioned dog.  Another page opened and I checked for the free ebook and then I had to donate to a worthy cause (one that I deemed not worthy).  So I clicked off the page and now consider the person who sent me the email and the author having far less credibility than before I had taken action.

Free for this old Swede is free. No strings attached, no last minute bait and switch, just simply free. Now if you want to sell me some other stuff after I receive the free e book, fine.  I am aware of that marketing strategy and can now take action be it ignore, buy it or unsubscribe.

What really annoys me when free is not free, they now have my email address and I will need to unsubscribe. Unfortunately, this sometimes is not as easy as it sounds because the last thing these Internet marketers want you to do is to unsubscribe from their lists as this diminishes their ability to increase sales.  This is why having a double opt in option is so critical and very few take that action. Sales Training Coaching Tip: AWeber from my experience now requires a double opt in so that people can change their mind.

A recent article or blog post on sales training by Lushin & Associates provided greater detail was to the impact of buyer’s expectations within the overall sales process. So before you tell someone something is free, make sure it is 100% free with no additional strings because free still means without any cost to the majority of your prospects.

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