In sales, you can’t ever be wasting your time and energy—these are two of your most precious assets. And nothing is more wasteful than pursuing a dead lead.
It’s always a good idea to review all your leads every day and make an honest assessment of them. While it’s true that some deals take longer to close (too many decision makers, no urgency in the project, etc.), some leads also don’t get anywhere. You can always trust your gut when making your judgment call…. or you can also look into these red flags:
- They don’t return calls or emails.
Sometimes, clients can’t just say no and do the next best thing: avoid you. This is especially true for new contacts—or those you don’t have a client relationship with. If your prospect isn’t responding, move on for now. Then maybe you can revisit another time.
- The person you’re in contact with is indifferent…
They will sometimes take your call, yes, but they do not engage with you in conversation: they have no questions on your spiel or they don’t have concrete answers to your questions. In other words, they just do not care.
- … Or, worse, is rude and/or hostile.
They won’t even mask their disinterest with diplomacy or civility. This is a clear indication that this prospect has no plans whatsoever in investing in a professional relationship with you.
- They have no need for your product or service.
As the sales professional, you have to know your target market. If your prospect has no real need for your product or service—meaning you are not solving any of their problems or demands—then you are barking up the wrong tree. Move on.
- Or they have no urgent need for your product or service.
Sometimes, you do have the solution to their problem, but it’s not just a priority for now. We wouldn’t necessarily disqualify this lead completely. File them in your “next time” or “revisit” list.
- Your contact is evasive… or not being completely honest.
They don’t really answer your questions, or they don’t really “get back to you” when they say they will. Some will also just flat-out lie. Now, this is harder to decipher, but any time you feel like your contact is holding out (and trust us, you will), then you’re better off dealing with honest, straightforward prospects.
- They won’t put you in contact with the decision maker/s.
Here’s another sign of evasiveness: they won’t ever put you in touch with the person who will decide on the matter. If you can’t even talk to the person who will say YES, what’s the whole point? Just move on and never forget to always find out a prospect’s decision-making process.
- They’re indecisive.
If you’re being given the runaround, you have to make sure to put things back on track. And that’s hard to do if a prospect cannot decide. Sometimes indecision can be a sign of numbers 4 and 5 above, so it may be best to put this prospect on hold for now and move on to the next.
- They don’t have the budget.
Some budgets can be negotiated, but some are just a complete waste of everyone’s time. If the budget difference is too huge, chances are, you won’t find middle ground.
- They have said NO.
Yes, a no can mean NO. You can try and see it as a challenge and re-engage them, but if you’re confident that you’ve made the best pitch for them and they still say no, then maybe that pitch is meant for someone else. Find that someone.Some dead leads are dead for now, and you can always try and resurrect the dead. Next, we discuss how you can bring these dead leads back to life.