About a year ago I was consulting with a client who had absolutely no problem generating leads, in fact I could have made the case that they were getting too many. Leads are great but if they aren’t being closed or closed fast enough then what worth do they have?
I looked at their pipeline and the number of days on average it took to close and I kept scratching my head. I could not get my brain around why it took so long to close. Until a month after I started with this company I discovered how they were qualifying. And they weren’t-qualifying that is.
They gathered information about the account, what I would call the cold facts. Size of the organization, who makes the decision, what departments are involved in the decision etc. Don’t get me wrong, these are all good things to ask but they do not give you the reason why these people are interested. Someone in the organization saw a webinar, visited the company’s website, or saw some other marketing blurb and found something of interest that might help their organization. Bingo-LEAD! Hallelujah brother-we got one! Not so fast lead breath!
What no one in this company thought about was the reason why the prospect showed up at the door. Let’s look at this through the eyes of an avid golfer. About 6 years ago I was playing to an 8 handicap and for a 57 year old geezer that ain’t shabby? I was also demonically possessed to lower the handicap to 5. Enter the infomercial for a golf club that would help groove the swing. I wrote down that 800 number so fast my hand cramped up! Why did I buy it? Because I had an emotional commitment to lowering my handicap. There was nothing intellectual about this sale. And, really, isn’t that the point here?
Prospects are attracted to a product because they think that it will cure something, organize time, improve output, eliminate waste, eliminate confusion, save money and a host of other maladies and pain. Salespeople need to qualify the prospect for the impact on that person or organization if the pain isn’t remedied. It is great to have a new widget but it’s more important to know what emotional issue the widget will address.
And, no, the golf club did nothing to lower my handicap. Why? Tune in Thursday.
The Final Word: “The dread of evil is a much more forcible principle of human actions than the prospect of good.” John Locke