Hello and welcome to the second part of my blog post. So far we’ve covered what being a sales vulture means, and began to discuss three steps to avoid becoming one. We discussed the first step, which is prioritizing, and now it’s time to cover steps two and three. Here it goes:
Step Two: Categorize
After you prioritize your prospects and figure out their order of importance, you have to break them down into categories based upon the level of interest the prospect has and their ability to invest in your product or service. The categories for prospects are as follows:
Hot- You can define hot prospects as you see fit as long as you’re consistent in your definition. For me, it’s someone who showed interest in your product or service and seems able to invest in it.
Warm- For our purposes, a warm prospect is interested in your product or service but doesn’t seem to have the money to invest. It could also be someone who has the ability to invest, but hasn’t shown full interest. Maybe they seemed curious or you get the vibe that they are, but they haven’t really said “Hey, I’m interested in what you have.”
Cold- This could be someone who was warm until you realized they truly couldn’t invest in your product or service. Depending on your industry and what you’re selling, you could have someone who will have the money in a year or two, so they aren’t dead yet. They’re just cool. It could also be someone who has the money but isn’t interested in your product or service at the moment, which might change at some point.
Dead or inactive – This is someone who becomes completely incapable of buying your product or service. If you only sell to people in your geographic location, someone who moves across the country would become a dead prospect. If you’re selling to a company that goes out of business, they would be one as well. If there’s no way for the person or company to buy from you anymore, they fall under this category.
Step Three: Processing
Once you’ve categorized your prospects, create a follow-up process. Figure out your follow-up protocol for each type of prospect. My suggestion is this: The cooler the prospect is, the more you should use automation, such as email marketing and automated campaigns. The hotter the prospect is, the more you want to use methods that involve your individual touch as a salesperson.
For a hot prospect, identify 11 to 15 follow-up steps. It might be mailing a personalized card, phone calls (some where you leave a message, some where you don’t), text messages, and, of course, email. The amount of follow-up dependents upon your industry, what you’re selling, and its size. If your product or service has a high price point, you might need 100 steps of follow-up. If it’s got a small price tag, you might just need a few. Regardless, 11 to 15 are sufficient for most hot or warm prospects before you move them to a different automation level.
Don’t be a vulture in sales. If you’re frustrated right now, maybe you need to sit down and make sure you know who your hot, warm, cold, and dead or inactive prospects are, and then develop a follow-up process for each. Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post! Take care, and have a better than amazing day.