Top 6 Factors for Killing a Sales Opportunity or Prospect

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 @ 22:03 PM

I hear this question a lot..."When should I move on?"

You have left 6 messages and haven't received a return call.

You have a prospect and things were moving along pretty well and now you can't get them back on the phone.

Should you move on?

First, the data is clear on this - it takes an average of 8 attempts - eight! - to reach a prospect.  And if it's a prospect that is already in the sales process, you probably screwed something up....

Second, whether or not you should move on is dependent on six factors. I'll list them here:

Factor #1 - The Size of Your Prospect Pool:  If you have thousands of potential prospects, it's easy to say, "next!", while if your pool of potential prospects is limited, "next" is not a viable option.

Factor #2 - The State of Your Pipeline: If your pipeline is filled with quality opportunities, it's easy to say, "next!", while if your pipeline is on the empty side, "next" is not a viable option.

Factor #3 - Competitive Nature: If you don't mind losing, it's easy to say, "next!", while if you can't stand to lose, "next" is not a viable option.

Factor #4 - Odds: If you don't have much of a chance to win the business, it's easy to say, "next!", while if you have a good chance to win the business, "next" is not a viable option.

Factor #5 - Profiling: If the prospect doesn't fit the profile of your ideal customer, it's easy to say, "next!" while if they are right in your sweet spot, "next" is not a viable option.

Factor #6 - Leverage: If the prospect was using you to keep their existing vendor/supplier honest, it's easy to say, "next!" while if low price isn't a factor and there isn't an existing vendor in place, "next" is not an option.

Can you think of any more?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Coaching, sales tips, reaching prospects, sales opportunities

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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