In 1975, (yes, it was that long ago) Paul Simon released a single called “50 Ways to Lose Your Lover”. It had a catchy tune with humorous lyrics and had success on the charts. Sometimes, it’s good to think of your prospects as lovers. The thing is, there are lots of ways to win over a prospect, but there are even more ways to lose them.
Here are five guaranteed ways to lose a prospect, and what you should do.
1. SPAM them – Sending them emails and phoning ad nauseum is a great way to make a prospect hit the delete button or ignore your call. Make sure you are providing frequent, high quality communication – not insane amounts of junk!
2. Sell to them instead of engaging them – Most people aren’t stupid and know when they are getting the hard sell. You need to allow your prospect to date you. Let them get to know you and get a taste for what you can offer. Offer trial products, free resources, surveys and quizzes to engage them.
3. Don’t listen to them – What does your prospect value? There are reasons (yes, multiple) that they are looking for your product or service, there are key motivators to help them choose a provider, there are special times or events that will trigger them to buy. You need to ask them and listen to their answers (i.e. survey them) to fully understand their buying process.
4. Bad follow up – In these busy times, it’s common for us to let calls go to voicemail and let emails go to a general inbox. Your prospects have been trained to receive responses instantaneously, so make sure you have the systems in place to respond in a timely fashion.
5. Mislead them – Keep it real. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver and for crying out loud, tell them the truth. The fastest way you can lose a prospect is to mislead them. A good rule of thumb is to under promise and over deliver.
The Paul Simon song was funny. Losing a good prospect is not. Use common sense and treat them like you like to be treated by your suppliers.