Yes, you heard me correctly.
Many sales pros (particularly novices) are so thrilled simply to be talking to a real live prospect that they don't want to burst the happy bubble. So they pretend that the mere fact that a prospect has shown a little interest (by not hanging up) means that they're a potential customer.
Nothing could be further from the truth. There are at least half-a-dozen reasons a prospect might show interest but never buy. For instance, the prospect may:
- feel bored or lonely and just want to talk to somebody.
- hope to have the offering…someday in the far future.
- be looking for a catspaw to play against your competitor.
- be confused about their firm's real needs.
- think your pricey offering fits within their teeny budget.
- be looking for new contacts for a future job hunt.
Look, the last thing that you want to do with your valuable time is to waste it on somebody that's who NOT going to buy.
So it's a BIG WIN for you, if you can eliminate a prospect from your to-do list. And it's an even BIGGER WIN if you can do this within the first five minutes of talking to the prospect. Here's what you need to know:
- Do they really need your offering?
- Is the financial impact big enough to justify a purchase?
- How do they buy this kind of product?
- Do they have a budget or can one be secured?
- What's their time frame for addressing this issue?
- Who says "Yes" and who can say "No"?
If you can't get a decent answer — or a process to get an answer — to any of these questions, then you're WASTING YOUR TIME.
On the other hand, if you can get answers — or a process in place to get those answers, you've got a real opportunity.
But let's be clear: if that prospect ain't gonna buy, you wanna exit ASAP.