Letting Go is Hard to Do…

Does it make sense to continue reaching out to a lead that shows no interest in what you are selling? Many sales professionals find that… 

Earlier this week I was making my prospecting dials (yes, The Queen still makes her dials) and sending prospecting emails when I had this interesting email exchange with one of my “suspects.” Here is the email I received in response to a prospecting email:

Wendy, you have called me several times. At this time I am not interested in your services. Thank you for your persistence.

I responded to the email and asked if it made sense to reach out again later in the year or next year or not at all. Here was the response:

Appreciate the sensitivity and prefer the latter. But if you are a good salesperson, I assume you will be back.

So, dear reader, what do you think I did with this contact? The answer may surprise you: I removed him from the call list. Here is my response:

Good sales people pursue prospects who are interested in what they are selling. I’ve taken you off of our calling list.

There are situations where my response might have been different. If I had a compelling reason for wanting to do business with this particular company I would have recycled the name and tried him back in six months or a year. If I was in an industry where leads were hard to come by I would have recycled him and tried him again. Neither of these scenarios, however, are applicable to my situation so I removed him. This frees me up to call someone that might be more receptive.

The idea behind telephone prospecting is not to keep hounding people who have no interest in what you are selling but rather to hunt for those best fit prospects that are interested, have a need and of course, have a budget.

I am indebted to my friend and colleague, Bob Bly, www.bly.com, for these definitions:

  • Suspect:  Anyone in the universe who could possibly buy your offering
  • Prospect: Someone with the money, authority, and desire to buy your offering

The contact above was a “suspect” not a “prospect.” He did have the authority and the money… Just not the desire.

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