In our experience, and from more than ten thousand plus phone calls over a period of more than 10 years, we’ve come to the conclusion that there are several types of prospects that can be boiled down into three groups.
- The first group being people that are interested
- The second group being people that are not interested and
- The third group being people that are not convinced yet
The first group of people are quite easy to convert because if they are interested, all you need to come to a suitable level of pricing and fit their requirements and the business is generally yours.
The second type of prospect that states that they are not interested can be treated in a few different ways.
- You can either discard them as a lead that is not interested
- You can either maintain future contact with them via an e-mail newsletter or
- You can maintain future contact by following up calls with this prospect
The third type of prospect can at times be hard to identify as to whether or not they are interested due to the fact that they are not convinced. We have a firm rule here, that we contact a prospective client no more than three times, unless they show genuine interest and really do need to be contacted further. And then opt to keeping contact with the prospect via alternative means such as an e-mail marketing newsletter if they decide down the track they may intend on doing something.
The trouble with dealing with a prospect that is uncertain about your product and service can lend itself to many things. You may have a great product or service, you may have the right price and you may be able to solve the problems of your prospect but they may still be a fence sitter. They maybe the type of person that just really doesn’t know how to pull the trigger and opt to use your product or service.
In many instances, we’ve seen prospects that are identified and confirmed that “yes, they are using the wrong product or service”,”yes, they believe we have a product or service that is far superior to what they have” but they still can’t decide to make the switch.
It becomes a tedious operation especially if you follow-up on this prospect too many times.
You may feel you have a connection with them, and you may feel that yes, they need what you want and they may even agree with it. But there comes a point in time that you must give up if they really cannot commit to doing anything with your company. It was said somewhere that people will do more to keep what they’ve got than to gain more. I believe in this instance that may hold true.
If you’re following up several times with an uncertain prospect and don’t make any success after the third attempt, opt to keep them on some form of a newsletter and invite them to contact you when their situation changes or they in their mind decide that they would like to reach out and use your services.
Going back to the prospect that’s not interested, yes, if the prospect tells you that they have no money, they have no desire to use your product or service and they don’t want to hear from you again. It’s understandable that you probably shouldn’t contact them again. But what do you do if you really know you have a solution for them and the prospect says “NO”? In our experience, it’s probably 50-50 that you should contact the client again at some later stage. Not the next day. Not the next week. But maybe in a months’ time. Just as a reassuring note to the prospect that says “Hey, I’m a trustworthy person, I’m going do what I say I’m going to do. And I’m going to followup on you and show you that I’m still around and that I really care about your business”. In some instances we’ve called on prospects up to six times with them saying “NO” every single time and they’ve decided on the seventh attempt to come on board with our company. Some of these clients have proved to be the best standing, greatest spending, long term clients that we’ve ever had.
In conclusion, ultimately time is against you. You want to spend the greatest amount of time with prospects that want to deal with your business and the least amount of time with prospects that have no desire whatsoever to use your product or service. Maintaining a newsletter is a great idea as it means that you won’t have to manually phone each client or manually e-mail each prospective client letting them know advancements in your company or interesting things that may happen or developments that may potentially be of benefit to them.
I personally wouldn’t spend too much time following up someone these days unless they tell me to my face that they are interested. Time is too precious to spend talking to people that have no real desire in your products or services.
I suggest you do the same.