June 19, 2018

What makes a bad business lead?

Traditional sales advice tells businesses that all leads are good leads, and therefore worth pursuing. These days we know better. Knowing when to push ahead, hold off and let go of a lead is one of the most valuable skills you can learn as a business. It’s one that will save you from spending time and money on something that won’t go anywhere, allowing you to focus your attention on ones that do. So how can you tell if a business lead might be more work than its worth?

SIGN #1 – They don’t know what their problem is

A good lead will know exactly what they need and be able to tell you what that is. You might find you cannot help them and they would be better off looking elsewhere, but that’s preferable to pursuing a lead that ends up changing their requirements midway or constantly changes their mind as to what they require. A business that hasn’t sat down to define exactly what they’re looking for will not be happy with anything you have to offer them.

SIGN #2 – They don’t have a budget

Can your prospective lead afford your services? Even if they don’t, it could be the start of a long-term relationship as they grow or become more successful further down the line. A lead should know exactly how much they are willing to spend so you can see if an arrangement is worth negotiating or not. A once off high value deal might be worth less than several smaller ones made over a longer time period.

SIGN #3 – They’re not a decision maker

In many instances a business will get a lower level team member to collect information on potential suppliers for a future decision or purchase. Often this team member only has a very broad list of requirements they’re working with. We aren’t saying that they should be neglected entirely but rather that you should not dedicate all your efforts into fostering this relationship. Perhaps they might be receptive to a nurturing campaign.

While generating leads is important, so is your business, its time and its money. Disqualifying bad leads means that you can focus on entering into a mutually beneficial relationship with a future client, instead of one that frustrates and annoys both parties.

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