Thursday, December 29, 2011

SALES LEADS: Subtle nuances of the species

Hi Folks,

Lat us go back to Sales-leads generation.As you will realize that although I have categorized "lead generating" in a no of types, the basic idea is the same-you got to develop a nose for the ‘apparently trivial but it’s not’ stuff. 

Where is the source or where are the sources ? They are all around you .Let me illustrate.
Think of Sunday’s paper job X wants experienced, dynamic blah blah for their new plant at Y (news!)..headline in page 5, ..the minister has said that land distribution will not be a priority (news!)…google new projects ..a lot of leads will come up and some maybe right next lane. All this information collected The fact is that despite your competence and expertise to sell, in minimum 25% cases you do not get the news in time. And when you do, it’s too late. (Of course, a few cases will always be there in the “current flow” but 25% is too high a figure).

We have discussed sales leads from the net.  Sales leads from the newspaper, seminars & conferences, 
networking etc. are more or less the same.  Therefore, Collect the information, do some research and be the first with the data. This three activities make up the second law of Sales Management  under ‘Lead Generation’. I will like to explain (to the extent required) as regards three of the points, as they differ slightly.
Leads by references : If you have started practicing relationship selling, then at the end of the supply & commissioning process, ask the customer to refer a few prospects to you. If the customer is pleased, he will give you genuine leads-from some meetings, social occasions etc. A rough rule of the thumb is that such deals work out 33% of the time immediately and after some time, even 50%.The beauty of this method is that the customer is pleased to give you the reference and he, as per human nature, wants to please your company, of which you are the representative. 

A word of caution here, the moment of interaction here is critical. Do not indulge in it when the customer is not in a good mood. He may be pissed off at someone else and not at you but nevertheless , wait.  Think and observe customer carefully before you approach him. But, you’ll say, " Dude, if the customer is pleased  at my work but is in a bad mood which has got nothing to do with me, how can this affect me?" It can.. because of  human nature. Once the word ‘No’ comes out of his mouth, he or she will never say ‘YES”-even though he may want to. This is because most customers like to portray themselves as men of their word. Otherwise it harms their reputation as macho and business savvy decision makers. So, think thrice before you approach the customer but certainly do so.

More in my next post


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