There’s nothing as frustrating for a vendor than prospects that end up being time wasters. You know, those prospects that you would spend time explaining and trying to convince. You send pictures, videos and even call only for them not to buy.
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One recurrent issue I’ve noticed with certain vendors is that they do not know when a prospect is a bad fit, so they end up spending time on someone that would never convert to a lead or eventually a buying customer.
A prospect might not necessarily be a time waster intentionally but might just be a bad fit. A lead is considered a bad fit if you and the person do not satisfy each other’s needs. That is, they want what you could not offer, and you want what they did not give. They want a product or service, you want their money.
That is why I have listed 4 ways to avoid time wasters.
1. Know your customer:
To sell, you have to identify your ideal customer. And to do that, you have to take your focus away from what you’re offering and instead be more focused on your target customers. If you study google’s progress from 1998 till date, you will notice one theme. They have built a lot of programmes and introduced a lot of features, but one theme that has been recurrent is the way they build apps that are customer-focused. They don’t give you innovations because the idea comes to them, they do because it is what you need. All their products are connected to make life easier for you. But I digress. Let’s focus on knowing your customer. We would talk about lessons to learn from Google some other time. To identify a bad fit, you should ask yourself questions like
- What are the criteria list for my customer
- Does this person fit the bill
- What social bracket can afford what I’m offering
Those questions should revolve primarily around Perspective, Capabilities and Profit potential.
2. Examine your Sales Process:
The reason some people might get stuck as time-wasters with you is not that they don’t have the intention of buying. It could be your sales process. Do you have a documented process of selling to people? I asked a lady here a question about something she was selling. The next question I got was how many am I buying and when do I need them. Hollup. I’m just making enquiries. She was too forward and didn’t even want to offer me value. I left the conversation at that. Probably she has added me to her list of time wasters. What she didn’t know was that I wasn’t making an enquiry for myself, but for a friend that had an event coming up. How do you sell to your prospects? Are you always hasty, or do you have a process of leading your prospects to buyers?
3. Disqualify Bad-fit prospects early on:
If you’ve identified the profile of who your ideal customer is, you should know from the onset if someone fits who can buy from you. A student pricing a car from you would be considered a bad fit. A teenager making enquiries about the iPhone 13 should be considered a bad fit. Well, except of course they are yahoo boys. Those guys are disruptors. But jokes aside, you know the class and category of people that can afford your wares, the areas and location your sales normally comes from and any criteria you must have studied from your customer base. Use those to determine your ideal customer and know when to put in for a conversation or when to cut it short.
- Understand and Implement Lead Scoring: Lead scoring is the process of gathering information you’ve gotten from both your bad fits and ideal customers and integrating it into your business. To score your leads, you would need to understand the difference between Marketing Qualified lead (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Lead (SQLs).
- Marketing Qualified lead: You see those people that engage your posts. Comment, react and even share them? Those are your marketing qualified leads. They might not necessarily be sales qualified but from their action, it shows they are valued leads as they not only relate with your products, but engage and inadvertently help you push your business marketing.
- Sales Qualified Lead: To define and identify SQLs, you have to take note of the actions they take. The ones that ask you how much, make comments like price and location please, or come to your inbox without engaging your posts, those are your SQLs. When you identify your SQL it is easier to channel energy and effort in pitching to them and giving them priority focus while being confident that it would lead to sales.
Scoring leads help you manage your time better and know if someone that approaches you is a potential customer.
4. Educate Bad fits and convert them:
To improve your Customer Relationship management and further increase your sales conversion, you should create quality content that educates hitherto bad fits to better understand and know your business. Not only does it help in educating bad fits, it also helps in reducing the time you might need to spend on a lead as certain key information they might ask you has already been addressed by you via your content.
To help you create such content, it might be worthwhile to utilise the ‘they help, you answer’ approach. The methodology is built on the principle of “What is my customer asking”. It requires you researching the things a customer might necessarily want to know about you, your business/brand and weaving them to create content.
The questions customers might ask are usually based on cost, problems, comparisons, guarantee, and reviews. If you provide answers to these questions, it sets you as transparent and helps a bad fit prospect to understand and be more knowledgeable about what you offer.
With all of these answered, you shouldn’t have issues with time wasters and your CRM would be better administered.