When it comes to sales, a solid list of leads is a must-have. In this case, a longer list is not always better. Rather, you want a list packed with leads that are highly likely to turn into loyal customers.
The first thing you want to do with your list is to classify different types of leads. This helps you figure out which leads to keep and which ones to stop pursuing. Every time you obtain a list of leads, identify the source of each lead and classify it accordingly. For example, if you have a list of leads from the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, simply classify them as the Nashville Chamber of Commerce’s leads. If this organization decides that your product or services aren’t needed, you can pull all their leads from your list without much trouble.
If you’re a good salesperson, there’s no doubt that your list of leads is constantly growing. However, that could be problematic if you don’t keep it compact and updated. Your good leads could easily get lost in a sea of fair weather or downright bad leads. To prevent this from happening, you should continuously review and stop pursuing bad leads. If you face any of the following 5 warning signs, it might be time to dump the lead.
The lead does not fit your target persona
Aside from cold call marketing, there are many ways to obtain a lead. Sometimes a visitor to your website may fill out a form with all his information. Sometimes a smartphone user may download your smartphone application and give your organization his email address. Just because this person is interested in your product or services does not always mean he is a good lead. The best way to find out if you want to actively pursue this lead is to research him before calling him. If this lead leaves his company email address, Google his company to see if the company is part of your target audience. If you have a long list of leads, you might be better off calling them instead of researching every single one. Usually, it will take you about 30 seconds into a phone call to figure out whether or not a lead is worth pursuing. If you find that the lead does not fit your target persona, save yourself some time and take him off your list.
The lead does not need your product or services
No means no. If a lead expresses disinterest in your product or services, simply stop pursuing her. If she just signed a contract with a competitor, consider reaching out to her again after a year or when the contract expires.
The lead does not have the financial means to purchase your product or services
If you keep track of your leads, you can find out fairly quickly if their organization is having financial troubles or pending legal obligations. In such a case, take the lead out of the prospecting category because pursuing him would only be a futile attempt at this point. You can keep track of your leads by setting up a Google alert for them.
The lead is unpleasant or difficult to do business with
Sometimes a difficult customer isn’t worth your time and energy. A lot of salespeople are self-motivated, and very few things can kill your motivation more than an unpleasant customer. If you cold call a lead, and if he responds with rudeness, take him off the list because if he does turn into a customer, chances are he will continue to treat you badly. However, you want to evaluate how many people you are already working with, and how badly you need this lead to turn into a customer. If you can part with this lead without second thought, do it.
The lead is just a window shopper who likes to talk with salespeople but never buys anything
There is a popular scene in Glengarry Glen Ross that addresses this very problem. Some leads like to sit down and chat with salespeople without the intention of buying anything. It could be due to loneliness or the desire to feel important. Whatever the reason, those people will take a meeting with anyone, and you should avoid them.
What you should do after you stop pursuing a lead
If you feel that a lead will never become your customer, simply stop communicating with her altogether. However, if you believe that a lead will come around in the future and express interest in your product or services, hold onto her contact information. You can create a list of leads to pursue in the future and move that lead to the list. Such cases include a lead signing a two-year contract with a competitor, a lead going through temporary financial hardships, or a lead who’s planning on expanding her business in the near future.