In my previous book, The Naked Salesman, I explored the damaging effects that crazy customers, that is to say, time wasters, have on businesses by eating precious time and diverting attention away from genuine and valuable customers.
Crazy customers can manifest from pushy salespeople who are too persuasive for their own good. Crazy customers can also be created by the right salespeople working by the wrong process or the wrong salespeople working via the right process. Some customers are also those seeking free information for their own, often deceptive, purposes. There are crazies everywhere.
Inexperienced salespeople impetuously start pounding the cash register as soon as someone calls them, believing that when a potential customer initiates the contact, they are a hot prospect and their intentions must be genuine. This is not always the case. In fact, there are perils in this belief. In a perfect (of course impossible) world, we would all rather spend our time pursuing flaming hot in-bound enquiries than sniff around and hunt them out.
The internet has been the greatest incubator of crazy customers the world has ever seen. Anyone, whether genuine, ambivalent or even deceptive, can do a quick search in Google or bust open an app and then blast an enquire form – not just to you, but also to most of your competitors. And this is achieved in only a few short minutes.
Treat all web enquires with a filtering process and manoeuvre them accordingly. Not all enquiries are created equal: this is where your sales process comes in.
By developing an effective qualification process that doesn’t alienate potential legitimate customers, you give yourself more chance of identifying the crazies early, which saves you time, resources and money.
Understanding your existing clients will help you work out their relevance and importance to your business, so when someone contacts you, you are already armed with insights that will enable you to profile them, and give you confidence that you are talking with the right person to then begin your sales conversation.
The insights that come from an analysis of your existing customer base are also critical for outbound lead generation activities as they provide your team with greater clarity and confidence to target more effectively, eliminating crazies expediently along the way.
This blog is an excerpt from Trent’s new book: OUTLAW: Fight for your customers and sell without fear.
Trent Leyshan is the founder of BOOM!, Australia’s leading sales training and development specialist. He is the co-founder of Expand People and author of OUTLAW: Fight for your customers and sell without fear.