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How to Spot Bad Leads That Hold Back Sales

Sales people waste a lot of time on bad leads that will never buy from their company. They are sometimes referred to as tire kickers or “Lookie Lou’s” since they are glad to talk about buying, but in reality, they never end up purchase anything. Unfortunately, sales team spend an inordinate amount of time not qualifying these bad leads since they get caught up with the quantity of their prospects, not their quality. This results in missing sales goals.  To maximize their sale goals, teams need to only call on prospects that have a high likelihood of buying

Here are surefire ways to spot them before they waste too much valuable selling time:

Start by Googling. Do background research on the prospect. Google their name and company if appropriate. Determine if they fit the target demographic of your typical customer.

Make a phone call. Before setting up a meeting, ask the prospects some key questions by phone.

In their view, what is their problem (that your solution addresses)? Get very specific since people only act when they are trying to solve a real pain.

What does it cost them if they don’t solve the problem? (i.e., if they wait, what is the cost to them?) This helps justify the expense of any new solution.

What is their budget for solving it? If their budget is too low, it does not make any sense to continue the discussion. For example, if the solution costs $10,000 and the budget is $7,000 this is still within the range and is worth continuing. If their budget is $10 and your solution costs $5,000, then the conversation should stop there with these type of bad leads.

At the actual sales call. Have a very specific further set of questions for the in person meeting.

How do they think your solution will help them (solve their pain)? What exactly do they think your product will do for them and is this a realistic result from your point of view.

What have they tried before? This is critical since you want to know what solutions they have implemented previously and apparently failed. This tells you the level of spending and commitment they have for solving the solution. It also may give an indication if you can really help them.

Who else are they considering? Know who the competition is. If they are considering other vendors (or doing it inside their company), this may show how serious they are or is this just a bad lead.

Where is the budget coming from to make the purchase (and who can authorize it?) This helps identify whether you are actually talking to the decision maker who can buy your product. It becomes part of a series of bad leads if you are selling to someone that can’t authorize or influence the sale.

Always do more listening than talking. Don’t be afraid of a “no” from any of the bad leads or answers that do not move the sale along. The positive outcome about a “no”, is that you can now find other leads that may buy and not waste time with those that actually never will.

About the author

Barry Moltz helps small businesses get unstuck. He applies simple, strategic steps to facilitate change. Barry has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 20 years. He is a small business speaker, radio host and author of four books. As a member of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, he has spoken to audiences of up to 20,000 people. He is a regular guest on business radio and cable TV programming.