Tip Tuesday: When to stop wasting your time with a lead

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Feb 13, 2018 8:09:00 AM

shutterstock_220004221.jpgTime is one of your most valuable assets—which is why it’s important to make the most of the time you have. One of the toughest lessons to learn is when to give up on a lead. While you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to generate more recurring revenue, there’s often a point where it’s time to walk away.

This week’s tip comes from a Smarter MSP post from cold-calling expert Carrie Simpson, and it’s about how to identify leads that will be worth your time.

“The goal is to keep the conversation going. The longer you chat, the more questions you can ask …. This is true for any title, any company, any vertical. Keep the conversation going. Have one or two more questions you can ask — open-ended questions that require a thoughtful answer.”

If the sales process is at a halt, this tactic can help you identify if they’ll be interested in your managed service offering, who might be the best contact, or if you should just cross them off the list. To read more of Carrie’s advice, check out the post here.

4 Red flags to watch out for

Your sales team needs to use their time efficiently, and while they might not want to give up on a prospect just yet—it might be time. Here are four areas that should raise a red flag for your sales team and let them know they should move on to a new prospect:

- “They’re never here.” After you’ve talked to the gatekeeper and built some rapport with them, sometimes you’ll hear the dreaded “They’re never here.” While this statement might make it seem like you’re stuck, it could mean there’s another decision-maker who handles business decisions while the leader you’ve been trying to reach is away. Ask the gatekeeper if there’s a better person to talk to, which might connect you with a better lead.

- They’re avoiding your emails. While there could be numerous reasons why the prospect might be avoiding your emails—bad timing, they’re too busy, or they aren’t interested—it’s best not to keep bombarding them with additional calls or emails. If they reached out to you initially and have gone dark, after a few follow-up, make a note and check back in six to eight months to see if the timing might be better.

- They said no. If a lead explicitly tells you no, respect their wishes but see if you can get some insight on why that’s the answer. It could be that they’re stuck in a managed service agreement for the next six months, happy with their current services, or decided not to outsource their IT department. Understanding and noting why they’re saying no at this time can help you reach out to them in the future when it might be a better time.

- They’re not the decision-maker. While you might have leads come in through your website, sometimes not all of them will help you win a new managed service contract. One way to know whether they’ll be a worthwhile lead is by their title. Often, good titles are CEO, president, vice president, and owner. While some other business titles may play into final decision-making, you often need executive buy-in from higher ranking individuals. Don’t discard these leads completely, instead initiate a conversation and ask who the decision-maker would be.

As motivational speaker Tony Robbins said, “Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year — and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” Your sales team’s time is valuable, so help them move in a positive direction so they can chase down more sources of revenue for your MSP business.

MSP's Guide to Cold Calling

Photo:  Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock. 

Topics: Tip Tuesday

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