23 Aug Why are you spending so much time with people that will never buy?
It’s human nature to keep plugging away though. ‘Just one more call. Just one more lunch. This will be the one that closes the deal.’
Sometimes you have to take a step back and look at the situation with detachment. Be honest with yourself, and with your business. It’s not going to happen. It’s time to walk away. It’s time to spend your time and energy on someone that will buy from you.
There are numerous frameworks by which you can assess the likelihood of a deal coming in from a prospect. Some have cool acronyms! Let’s examine three of them. You can decide what’s right for you.
1 – BANT
I’m not talking about playing hilarious pranks on your colleagues. I’m talking about the BANT method of assessing the quality of your prospects. Here are the four pillars of BANT:
Budget – Do you know if your prospect can pay for what you’re selling?Authority – Is your contact the decision maker, or do they have to persuade their manager on the merits of your service?Need – Does your prospect have a problem which will be solved by your product or service, or is your product a ‘nice to have’?Timeframe – Are they ready to buy, or is it something they won’t buy until 6-12 months down the line?
If you believe your prospect meets all 4 BANT criteria, then they should really have bought from you by now. Why haven’t they?
If you’re not sure on whether your prospect meets these criteria, you haven’t asked the right questions. It’s time to contact them and find out once and for all.
If you know they don’t meet the standards of BANT, it’s time to walk away. If the timeframe is the problem, by all means contact them in the future when they say they’ll be ready to buy, but don’t waste your time today on them.
2 – QUQI
Qualify In, Qualify Out.
I’ve written a long article about this. It’s here. I won’t go into massive detail about this. However…
Qualifying In is all about asking the right questions when you speak to a prospect for the first time. It’s about not mistaking someone being friendly and encouraging for someone who is about to buy from you. It’s about being realistic.
Qualifying Out is about looking at the list of prospects you’re working on and using strict, measurable criteria to decide whether they’re worthy of your time.
You can use the same criteria as BANT when you’re qualifying out, but you may want to ask other questions to judge whether a particular prospect is about to buy from you. For example, do they pick up the phone when you call? Or, what are the consequences for their business if they don’t buy from you?
Be honest, stop dreaming. Qualify in and out, maximise your time and energy.
3 – GUT
Sorry, no acronyms here, just good old-fashioned gut instinct. You should know deep down, probably from the first call you make with a prospect, whether they’re going to buy or not. Listen to your gut, and react accordingly. Don’t waste time going all out on a prospect that your gut tells you is not going to do the deal with you. Sometimes events can prove your gut wrong, but it doesn’t happen very often.
Learn to improve your gut instinct and it becomes a useful weapon in your sales arsenal. Practice and experience will help you fine tune your gut. You’ll learn to know by instinct whether something is or isn’t right. You’ll learn to listen to your gut, and trust it. Do I go all out for a potential client, do I walk away, or do I hold on and ask more questions? A well-tuned gut will make you sharp and instinctive, successful by design.
Choose which one fits the situation you’re in, and you’ll know soon enough whether to persevere with this prospect. Your mindset will determine the right path, just allow it to happen. Fundamentally you’re dealing with another person, and as a top salesperson, you should be able to read them.
Now it’s your turn. How do you decide whether or not to persevere with a prospect who won’t buy? Has your gut feeling ever kept you going when all the science has told you to stop, but you’ve been proved right? Why not let us know with a comment?