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Why you should not easily give up sales lead

sales
Investing time and energy into converting a lead pays big dividends. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

When you are given a lead, wring it dry before throwing in the towel. Most sellers give up at first blush, much to the dismay of the lead giver. Here are three reasons why sellers should exhaust all avenues to close the lead (complete the sale).

First, prospecting is the seller’s lifeline. Prospecting is getting the right person to sell to. If you don’t prospect you have no one to sell to and you therefore die (professionally). A lead is a very effective way of prospecting. A lead is a potential sale. A lead is generated when a colleague or friend tells the seller, “Call up this person. He is ready to buy our product. Here is his contact.” Half the seller’s job is done here. ‘This person” is not a suspect (possible buyer) any more. He is a potential one; a prospect. The difference is as night from day. Typically, the seller would have to qualify the prospect himself. This is now done for him.

Next, a potential sale is not an automatic one. Which is why last week I shared that to increase the chances of closing a lead it is important to build one’s connection with the lead instead of assuming that, “I was referred to you by your friend Allan who said you are ready to sign forms” will work. It doesn’t.

Doing so will see the seller give up even without meeting the lead. I mean, what is the seller to do, when the seller replies in the negative. “No, I didn’t say so”; then proceeds to further negate his interest and finishes with a curt “I’ll talk to Allan”? So, because it is not an automatic sale the seller should approach it ten, and not ninety, per cent, closed. This means being ready to go through all the other steps in the sales cycle. Prospecting is the only one done for you. Interviewing, building trust, demonstrating, validating, negotiating and closing still hang in the balance. And these are not a switch you flip; they take effort and time. Sometimes, depending on the product, even months. Giving in cannot be like flipping a switch either.

Finally, investing time and energy into converting a lead to a sale and keeping the lead giver abreast of your progress, increases your chances of getting more leads, which means lengthening your lifeline. The lead giver is encouraged. Prospecting is not easy. That’s why most sellers give it a halfhearted effort. Continually getting leads significantly lowers this burden. And because leads have a higher chance of conversion to actual sales (closes), your closing ratio grows higher, faster. Unfortunately, the converse holds. A laissez-faire approach to leads will see the seller easily surrender; much to the dismay of the frustrated lead giver who forms a negative opinion of him, choosing to limit leads shared. This adversely affects the seller’s closing ratio. Fully exploit leads. It pays.

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