When to eliminate a prospect?
Okay, you’ve done your homework upfront and have a well-defined target market (those prospects where your core competencies will resonate the loudest – click here for more information). Do you still want to eliminate prospects? Absolutely, if not eliminate them, put them into the marketing drip and revisit at some future date.
You may be asking yourself, but isn’t sales a numbers game? It is, just not the way most people think about numbers. I’d suggest that it is a reverse numbers game – the fewer high-quality prospects you work with, the better your chance of success. This is why having a well-defined target market is so important – there are a limited number of hours in a day and you can’t afford to waste even a minute on a prospect that isn’t going to convert.
No matter how much work you put into your target market, it is unrealistic that every prospect is going to be ready to buy now, or even ever – perfection is extremely rare. So, it is important that you never stop the qualification process and not be afraid to make real-time changes.
Let’s say you get the decision-maker on a cold call; what now? First, make an up-front contract – ask for 1-minute of their time (no more) and hold to it – resist all urges to go longer. Have your opening well-rehearsed so you can get through in 1-minute without rushing. At the end of the minute, stop and ask your prospect if they would like to arrange a time later in the week to discuss in greater detail.
You are going to receive one of three responses:
- That’s okay. I have a few minutes to spare right now – let’s continue.
- Sounds interesting, but I’m already late for a meeting – let’s reconnect at…
- Sorry, I am not interested.
The first two are good, but so is the rejection. With minimal time invested, you now know that this prospect is either not ready or a miss entirely. Put them in the marketing drip and follow up based on your process – either they will unsubscribe or hopefully turn into a potential client.