Many professionals hate the thought of selling, as this implies in their mind that they need to turn into a pushy second-hand car sales person. Consequently they have a very hands-off approach to their Leads, and potentially lose many potentially good Clients by this approach. Your aim when managing your Leads through your Sales Pipeline is to let them set the pace, but also design into your sales process little acts of commitment from them to take them to the next stage in the process. These acts of commitment enable you to focus on the Leads who are committed to proceeding, and eliminate the ‘tyre kickers’. Tyre kickers is a name often used to describe the professional’s equivalent of the people who are ‘just browsing’ in a shop. Unfortunately tyre kickers can sometimes be mistaken for a genuine Lead, because they will exhibit some of the same signs that an interested Lead will; i.e.
- Be very interested in what you charge, and what they get for that
- Want some free advice from you (rather than actually pay for your service).
Here are ways of getting your Leads to commit to the next stage in the process, whilst also weeding out tyre kickers:
- Ask them what they see as the next step.
- Check very early in the sales process that they have the budget to afford your services. An easy way to do this is to send them before your first meeting very broad brush costs for the typical client or service you provide.
- When asked to submit a proposal ask the Lead to commit to a quick conversation to talk through the draft outline before you spend a large amount of time writing it. This allows you to find out which Leads are actually bringing the sales process to an end by asking for a proposal.
- Ask them how and when you should follow up with them if you have not heard anything.