There is no uniform definition for a good sales lead. The viability of a lead depends on timing, company criteria and, most of all, the skill of the salesperson, notes Eloqua. In the hands of a talented seller, any lead can become strong. It may take a little time to cultivate, but it will eventually convert to a sale if properly nurtured.
One of the best ways to foster a sales lead is by relationship building using authentic communication. Scripted sales presentations are fine for the newbie, but a seasoned sales veteran will use these common questions to turn a lead into a sale:
How Are You Doing?
There is no greater turn off than having a salesperson ask this question insincerely. If your potential consumer answers this question with “Fine”, “I’m having a baby” or “My house is on fire” and you respond the same to each, then you have lost any hope of making a sale. This question sets a precedent for all other transactions to come. Service innovation — the ability to develop creative service strategies for a consumer — depends on shifting the focus to the customer’s well-being. Use this question to create a bond with the customer and convey an implied promise to always put his or her needs at the top of your list.
How Did You Hear About Us?
There are reputable ways of getting sales leads in bulk. Most of these lists require the consumer to voluntarily give information. In other words, your prospect wanted you to call. In the world of social media and Internet reviews, not only can a customer request a call but he also knows something about your company long before you pick up the phone. An active Facebook page takes this commonplace question and turns it into a continuing dialogue.
What Do You Know About Us?
Approximately 70 percent of leads are not followed up by sales representatives, reports the American Marketing Association. One reason revolves around the answer to this question. Finding out what the general public loves, hates, and does not know about your company can be exhausting. This question is open-ended and dangerous, but necessary. If the customer has a positive opinion of the company then your job is half-way done. A negative perception must be addressed honestly if you are to have any hope of converting a sale. No knowledge of the company opens you to educating your prospect about all of the benefits of your services.
How Can I Help?
According to Relationship Marketing Theory, the primary job of a sales representative is to maintain a relationship with the customer. The theory assumes a loyal customer will seek to purchase from your company. Your job is to honestly and caringly help the consumer get the best product or service. Whatever happens, the customer will walk away will a positive impression that will serve as excellent marketing for the future.
When Do You Want To Start?
At some point in the dialogue, you must ask the potential customer to commit. In sales, it is called “the ask” and it happens after the prospect sees value in your product and has become accustomed to saying yes. If you have used solid relationship marketing techniques, this question will flow naturally as you transform a weak lead to a strong lead and then to a sale. For a salesperson that is well grounded in the philosophy of selling, this question is not the last of the conversation. Instead, this would be considered the first question of a long, beneficial relationship.