I have briefly covered the topic of sales leads versus opportunities in a previous blog, but today I’d like to focus on the best ways to embrace sales leads in order to access a better type of customer. Now, by ‘better customer’ I mean the right kind of customer for the product or service you’re selling, not that snobbery should be involved in the kinds of people you aim to attract; while all of that attention is bound to boost your confidence, only certain sales leads will convert into a viable customer opportunity and, therefore, a sale. Now is the time to learn how to identify between a great lead, and one that’s going nowhere, and to discover the best ways to focus on those customers.
Sales leads are difficult to come by, tricky to follow, and even harder to hold onto, but sometimes you need to recognise when the battle is over, and to move on; if you’ve been following a lead that isn’t biting, or spending hours communicating with a client who just isn’t interested, take your time and resources elsewhere. Yes, building your database and adding names to your contact sheets is rewarding, but so many resources are wasted in the pursuit of a lead that will amount to nothing.
In order to get to know a potential sales lead, make correct assumptions about their needs and desires, and fully appreciate their potential as a customer it’s important to ask the right questions during that initial contact; how can your product or service appeal to them best? You’ll learn very quickly during this questioning process which leads are worth pursuing, and which would-be clients are disinterested from the word ‘go’. Remember, these early stages of the sales process are as much about you assessing the buyer, as it is the buyer casting their critical eye over your product and company.
Okay, so you’ll have wasted a little time and a few resources, but letting go of would-be customers during the deal stage is possible; have they stopped returning your calls? Are the customer’s questions become fussier, or their lexicon disengaged? If you are getting the impression that your sales lead has lost interest, or is playing along for a quiet life, it’s time to suggest that you go your separate ways. Such a suggestion may save the sale, but it could also save you even further heartbreak.
You’ll soon learn which of your customers are worth building relationships with, and which are leads that are destined to fail; you see, a difficult lead will often convert into a customer that’s hard to please, while a sales lead that engages with you at every stage is more likely to become the customer that dreams are made of. As soon as you learn this difference you’ll find it far easier to form bonds and forge relationships with your clients; by focusing on the right lead, and doing all you can to improve that relationship, you’ll open the floodgates for far better customers – and easier deals. Are you ready to embrace those leads?
By asking the right questions, following through with research, and focusing on customer relationships, you too can make the most of the right type of leads, and yield the greatest results for your sales team and company. While learning how to target those leads may be daunting, and difficult, in the beginning, you’ll soon learn which leads to follow, and be able to dismiss those that are going nowhere. Is your sales team up to the challenge?
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