When To Pursue A Lead and Should You? (2 Ways to Know)

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Sales Podcast, The Slow Pitch
The Slow Pitch Sales Podcast
When To Pursue A Lead and Should You? (2 Ways to Know)


Should You Pursue That Sales Lead?

In this episode we talk about when to pursue a lead and if it makes sense to actually pursue a lead. Leads can come at you quickly, but knowing when to follow up and pursue it take a bit of skill. This episode came from a conversation Rob had with a salesperson who said he follows up on every lead. This led him to ask the question, “Should you really follow up and pursue every lead?”

Lane and Rob talk about when you should and when you shouldn’t based on who your client is and what you like and dislike about your current clients. You should be able to identify who is a great lead and who is a poor lead once you know the answers to the questions they ask on this episode.

How Do You Know When To Pursue a Lead?

Knowing who is a good client is the start of knowing when to pursue a lead. If the potential client can’t answer key questions that to tell you whether they’ll be good to work with or not, then you might have to find a way to tell them you’re not a good fit. A caution here, telling a potential client they’re not a good fit may just make them feel rejected ad leave them wondering why. You must talk with them early on about the likelihood that you may have to tell them you are not a good fit.

Listen in as Rob and Lane discuss the questions, the answers, and the issues that can help you know whether you should pursue a lead or not.


Related Content: 

When Should I Upsell, When Should I NOT Upsell?

How To Maximize Your Chamber Membership

How To Get Business Leads On LinkedIn (With a Few Tips On What NOT To Do)

Signs a Buyer Isn’t a Good Fit

NOTE: Some links may be affiliate links, which means we get paid a commission when you purchase, but it the cost remains the same for you. 

Music: "Clydesdale Funk" by Cast of Characters, written by: Dustin Ransom.


The Episode

Rob  00:09

Welcome back, everybody to The Slow Pitch and I see Lane over there, how you doing?

Lane  00:12

I’m doing fantastic. Rob, how are you?

Rob  00:15

I’m doing well…and anything new lately?

Lane  00:18

Just just work and kids and recording with you.

Rob  00:23

All right. Well, so the other day I was talking to somebody who’s a salesperson, he made the comment that, hey, why not pursue every lead because you never know where something’s going to lead any kind of give an example of how he, how he pursued this one particular lead, and it ended up leading to this big project. And I was like, Oh, wow, great. What do you think about that?

Lane  00:44

I think you gotta be careful myself. I’ve I don’t know, I think we we’ve all kind of tend to get burned every once in a while and someone and you need to kind of learn your lessons, in my opinion.

Rob  00:54

I agree. And I think what it did is made me think a little bit and said, Is that really true? Like? Do you have to really follow relate? Or do you kind of create your own future by doing certain things? And so my question is, do you really ever want to follow every lead? And well, how do you know when to follow a lead? So let’s talk about that today.

V/O  01:10

You’re listening to The Slow Pitch Podcast, about podcast about selling less and closing more?

Rob  01:19

You heard the little story. You heard…we were literally sitting there talking. He’s like, I just I follow up on everything, everything, because I never know where it’s gonna lead. I do you do do that. I mean, is that something you do all the time, too? Because I know I don’t always but

Lane  01:32

No, I look, I think you, you get a voicemail or something and something sounds a little hinky with it. I might not call that person back right away. And it sounds really hinky. I’m not making that phone call.

Rob  01:45

Yeah, I’ll listen here. If somebody calls me leave me a voicemail, and I don’t like the way that sounds, I’ll call back. But I’ll ask a couple of questions. And then what I’ll find out is this is not going to work out and so I will gently tell them, I don’t think we’re a good fit and we know that you should probably find somebody that can refer them to somebody or, or what have you, because it’s just not a good if the project doesn’t seem like it’s big enough, or it’s there’s a project that’s just not going to fit into what we do or whatever it is, it just doesn’t fit. Sometimes it looks sounds like it’s not going to have enough of a budget behind it. And while that sounds like that shouldn’t be the reason you tell somebody that will kind of can be sometimes if you’ve got a lot of stuff going on. So it made me think about, you know, that kind of made me think about what is this? What are some of the things that you should be doing to determine whether or not this is a lead that you should follow up on? Or not follow up on? And I guess I wanted to talk through with you, what are some of the things that you do now to decide or determine whether or not you should follow up with somebody or you shouldn’t follow up? Like, what are some signals?

Lane  02:47

One of the big ones that I’ve I’ve tend to get burned on in the past is when it really sounds like the person is indecisive. You know, you’re, they say they they want something some work done. You start talking about options, you start talking about what can or can’t be done. And it’s just really, really wishy washy. And that’s a big one for me, because the last thing I want to do is get into the middle of a project and the client keeps changing their mind. Suddenly I’m at fault for for why things aren’t turning out the way they think they should when they can’t make up their mind.

Rob  03:18

Well, I mean, it can’t be their fault. I mean, come on. Clearly, it can’t be right. Yeah. So yeah, no, I. So that makes sense. So somebody that’s indecisive. Somebody that can make up their mind isn’t very, maybe clear about what they want.

Lane  03:29

They don’t know what they want. Yeah, yeah.

Rob  03:31

Yeah, they don’t know what they want. So these are frustrating things that all of us encounter. Like if you’re on a small business, you know, you’ve had this like, they don’t even want to know what they want and, and are asking me to figure it out, or you’re your salesperson. So you’re just telling the person that like they just kind of all over the place. So, Lane, what’s the difference between somebody that’s all over the place? Because they don’t really know what they want. And just a high who just likes to talk, like what’s the … how do you tell the difference?

Lane  03:57

Well, I can deal with somebody who likes to talk a lot. Yep. You know, that’s different than just playing not being able to make up their mind or not knowing what they want. So you know, it’s easy to kind of short circuit similar conversations sometimes and circle it back into into talk about business and what you’re there to talk about. You can’t force someone to make up their mind, though.

Rob  04:17

No, that’s true. And I think so by asking some questions, I would assume you’d be able to figure out whether or not they’re an “I”, or they just don’t know what they want. Yeah. So let’s go through an exercise because I feel like anybody that’s out there who’s listening, you’re probably going okay, well, how do I get through this? And what do I need to do to make sure that I don’t pursue a lead that’s like a waste of my time. And for those of you that maybe have gotten this far into it and said, You know, I always know when it’s the right person I should be pursuing or not good for you. Because I don’t always know and I don’t think everybody always really, really knows. Looking back. It’s easy to say, Yeah, I knew this. I was something I should follow up on if it did well, but let’s kind of go through some steps of what you could do to make sure that you’re pursuing a lead that actually makes sense for you. So let’s let’s do this lane I want you to think about, we’re gonna kind of run through some exercises here, I want you to think about your best client, the one that you absolutely loved, or do love working with. So it could be an existing or previous client, talk me through some of the things that you really liked about them. Like, for example, what did you like about them? What kind of things did they do? What did they do that you thought was really a positive thing for your relationship as a client, and vendor or a client? Producer for them? What were some of those traits?

Lane  05:31

I think the traits that I find most valuable are one, they can articulate the problems they have. They can, will, or they will listen to what you recommend or the solutions, and they can make up their mind relatively quickly as to whether or not they’re willing to buy into what you’re suggesting.

Rob  05:51

Okay. Those are three good ones.

Lane  05:54

And I know as a “C”…that fits my personality. But you know…

Rob  05:58

It kind of made me laugh too, because like, you want somebody that can decide quickly. But do you decide quickly?

Lane  06:07

It depends on this on the situation. So? Well, I think, you know, I think that decide quickly is a relative term. Because if you’re if you’re talking about an overall project, let’s say something, you know, $3,000 or $4,000 project, and yeah, I’m not expecting someone to make up their mind, just, you know, like that.

Rob  06:27


Lane  06:27

But I don’t also don’t expect for, for me to have a conversation, not hear from them for six months, and suddenly, they pop back in and go, Hey, let’s talk about that again.

Rob  06:36

Yeah, you’re you’re right, and that, you know, a $3,000 or $4,000 project, you know, they’re gonna have to take some time to make some decisions. Whereas I might be talking to a client that I have that you give them a $3,000 problem, like, you need to fix this problem. And here’s what the issue is, and it’s going to cost you $3,000. If they’ll give me no problem, go ahead, like that fast. And you’re right, it’s relative, it’s all relative to by who it is, and what the problems are, what kind of causes that problem is going to create all those things. So So you’re talking about articulating the problem, being able to listen to the recommendation that you’re giving, and then also, can they make some decisions pretty quickly? Is there anything else that you think about that was, hey, this is somebody that I really enjoyed working with. And here’s why.

Lane  07:17

It’s always great when when the client will give you some good, honest feedback on what you’re proposing or what you’ve implemented. So that was very valuable.

Rob  07:26

Okay. So we’ve kind of created a small little list, and I would recommend anybody listening that you would take this same approach and say, Okay, what are the of a client that I’m working with really right now that I really enjoy working with, or a client that I’ve worked with in the past? What are some good traits that they have write those down, and I want you to take a few minutes and literally think through. So I did some of that with with a client that I’ve worked with in the past. And what I wrote down was, the reason that I like them, like working with them, is because they allow us to do our best work within the confines of the project. So we could do our best because they allowed us to do it. They weren’t trying to put their fingers in everything, and trying to mess things up on us, which was kind of I know, it sounds weird, but But it’s one of those when you you know what you need to be doing. It’s like when you’re a chef in the kitchen. And somebody walks in from the from the restaurant and says, Hey, can you just put some more of this in there? That would never happen in a kitchen, right? And in a restaurant, you would never have that same kind of thing. But it happens all the time in the service industry. Right?

Lane  08:23

Yeah. Can I have some ketchup with that?

Rob  08:26

Yeah, so the other thing I wrote down was, they provided some guidance. So here’s the confines that we’re going to work in. And here’s the kind of the rails is where we need to stay within this is what we’re trying to get done. And what we’re trying to get accomplished. Here’s where we’re going. They also were looking for really good quality work. They were not looking for mailed in work and by mailed in I mean, like, here you go, this is our first step to import anything. And and, you know, they were looking for somebody that was serious, that knew what they were doing, and want to see, hey, what do you got? And, and do it for them? Because they knew you could they also on their end, they would involve an expert in the field that they were focused on what we were working on, they would bring that expert in or along the way as we needed to. So when there was an issue that needed to come up, that person would go yeah, here’s what we need here, here. And here. This is why we need this. And this is why this is important. Okay, got it. So now we had a better picture of the scope of that project. And we can actually make it work the way we’re supposed to. They were less hands on. And they were more, here’s the direction, like pointing us in the direction rather than getting involved with the day to day and it’s kind of like, you know, I think we’ve joked about this before, but you know, me being a high “C” and my wife being a high “I”, you know, she’ll say, you know, give me some information and I’ll try to give her all these details. And she’s like, listen, I just want to know what time it is. I don’t even know how the watch is made. Right? So that kind of a scenario. They were the same way. They’re like, just this is the direction we’re going this way we want to go when you’re off trails, then we’ll get you back on and we’ll make sure you’re staying where you’re supposed to be. They would do their part. The other thing is they would do their part so that we could do ours the best week So in other words, there were things that they had to do to keep us on time on track on schedule, on budget, whatever it was, they would do their part so that we could do our part. The other thing is they gave just like you said, they gave some really good feedback. And they did it pretty quickly. When they didn’t like something, they would tell us pretty quickly, when they liked it, they would tell us pretty quickly, and we could fix course, correct as we needed to. And I think the best part of this was the last one. But this is not the motivator for for why you’re picking this right. This is this won’t be the motivator, but you probably guessing what it is. And you know what the last one that I wrote down for this particular client is?

Lane  10:36

They paid on time.

Rob  10:37

They paid on time, not only on time, but they paid at the agreed amount of time. So we knew that the check wasn’t going to come, there wasn’t going to come is as quickly as you know, we send an invoice and they’d pay it, there’s a timeline that was fit with that. So they would, they would follow what they said they were going to do, we followed what we agreed to. So we would invoice in a particular time so that they would get it in the right time. And then they would pay it on time and it would work the right way it was supposed to be. So that being said, that’s kind of my list of what I what I felt like was a really good client that we’ve worked with. And then I would like to find more of, right? That’s, these are the kinds of people that I like to work with. Let’s drill down a little bit further. So lane, I want you to ask, I want to ask you a couple more questions.

Lane  11:20


Rob  11:21

Think of your best client that you’ve worked with.

Lane  11:24


Rob  11:24

What kind of personality traits, attitudes? What other approach to things? Their their style, their communication style? All of that? Is there anything that stood out about them that said, these are some things that I really liked? Did they have any personality traits, or attitude traits or communication styles that you really liked?

Lane  11:46

Well, I you know, again, I know that it’s because I’m a “C”. But those clients that are also C’s are also very easy to deal with. For me, I mean, easy to work with, we get each other. So you know, so that’s, you got that?

Rob  12:00

Listen, that’s a quarter of the population, which is, hey, that’s a big number. If you can work with a quarter of people out there, no problem.

Lane  12:06

I got no problem. I’ll take all their business.

Rob  12:08

Yes. Any other attitude traits or anything?

Lane  12:11

Well, I think one of the big ones and that and I don’t know if it may be similar to the previous question, but the the clients that know they need to do something, and they actually follow through within their business to do it. Interesting. You say you want to accomplish something, so let’s accomplish something. Whereas you know, the, the not so easy clients are the ones that I am too busy to do this, I’m too busy to do that. So you may not hear from him forever. And then suddenly, you get something. But that’s, that’s gonna be difficult, too difficult to work with.

Rob  12:39

So they’re the kind of person that’s that just either is too busy to deal with, or to deal with what you need them to deal with? Or they’re, or they’re not communicating as often as necessary. Almost. Yeah, yeah. That’s so that’s a good, good mix of things. And I’m sure you could if you sat down a little longer, and we’re doing this kind of on the fly and kind of surprised you with the question. So there’s probably some things you would think of to add to that. So for the one that I was thinking of the person or the, the company that I was working with, before, I thought, well, what are some of the personality traits that I really liked? Well, one was, they were very open about what they were trying to get accomplished. And there, and they were honest, they were very frank with you, when you had an issue. They told you what the way it was, what the problem was, and in no uncertain terms, you didn’t know what it was. I mean, you knew what was going on. They’re also fun. Like, they, they they were fun to work with, like, when you call it when they called you. You felt better. Like it was weird. We like the other day, I had, I had a conversation with one of the individuals that worked for this company. And it was just like, hey, how’s it going? And he just started asking some quick questions about, you know, what my day was like, what the… what’s coming up for the weekend? And I’m like, wow, okay. And then we got into some of the couple of details. And then off we went. And, you know, there’s fun, there’s, there’s enjoyable. And then there’s also like, it’s business, right? But there’s a mutual respect. And also there, they were very clear and what they were looking for, but I also saw them as being very driven, quality focused, they want an experts in what they were doing. And then they really communicated a lot. So what over the course of time, they over plan things and they communicated. But once we got past that part, things got a lot simpler, because we knew what we needed to do. They knew what they needed to do. Everything was planned, and everybody was on board. So it worked out really well. So that’s a picture of your or my ideal client, right? That’s what we should be looking for. So now let’s back this up a little bit and say, All right, let’s talk about your worst client. What’s the client that you really go? I wish I never took them on, number one. Number two, I wish that if I did take them out, I would have gotten rid of them faster. Or if I had a chance to do it over again, I would never, never even entertain I would have stopped the conversation in the first few minutes of that initial call and say “No, thanks. I appreciate your time.” But we’re not going to say let’s talk about that person or that company. What were some of the traits that you saw that they had or what did you not like about them?

Lane  14:20

Well, some of these traits kind of circle back to what we talked about earlier. I think a lot of ways I kind of dodged a bullet with this one client or potential client, this person knew they knew what they wanted to do. They didn’t know how they would want to do it. And they could not commit to actually having the work done. And, you know, talk to them. I probably spent a few hours on the phone with this person. And then they just magically disappeared one day, and wow. And six months later, I got an email back going, Hey, let’s talk again.

Rob  15:35

And you said…

Lane  15:37

Well…I, it had been six months, so I increased my price by 10%. And they never heard from them again.

Rob  15:42

Yeah. All right. So you know, worst clients or clients that you don’t like to work with. Here’s some of the things that are traits that I wrote down for mine. One was is, is I did not like their approach to the process that we had to take. So we knew we had some things we had to get done. And their approach was a little different. Part of their approach was, it’s my way or the highway. And that was not enjoyable. We took them on. And we said, Okay, we’ll you know, we’ll work with you. And not only with the negotiate price, to the point of it was it was frustrating. But it was one of those that when they got to the price thing, it was like, Well, can you do this? And if I said, Yeah, I don’t know that I can, we should probably just part ways. They were like, Okay, well, fine, we’ll do it. And so in a while, I still got the price that I wanted, it was not worth the effort and the problems that came up, but the my way, or the highway thing was very difficult. The other thing I found was, as they would tell us what we wanted, like they would tell us what we wanted, right? They was, this is what you’re gonna do, like, that’s like going to dinner, and then somebody’s just going, Hey, you’re gonna have the steak and I’m like, I’m a vegetarian, you know, that doesn’t, that doesn’t work very well. So, to me, I feel like just having somebody tell you all the things that you’re going to do, and you’re the person that’s the expert, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, that tells me they’re not treating you and they don’t view you as an expert. They don’t look at you as an advisor or somebody that they can trust. They were also very short and to the point. I mean, they whatever they call, they were just not friendly. Like they weren’t enjoyable to talk to when you got the phone call, you looked at the phone, you were like, oh, boy, I don’t want to talk to this person. Because it’s not going to be front. Even if it’s good news. It was like bad. It was I don’t know, it was frustrating. Wow. They were not specific in their feedback, their feedback would be I just don’t like it. And you’re like, Well, okay, what don’t you like about it? I don’t know. I just don’t like it. Okay, well, that’s difficult to do anything about, you know, I don’t, I don’t like certain things either. But it doesn’t mean I can change it. So what does that what do you want me to do with this? Like, I don’t know what information or to do with information. And they didn’t like that. When we asked him well, what does that mean? They were like, Let’s just change it and might change what so it was very weird and difficult. They also weren’t very organized. They didn’t plan ahead. And they also didn’t ask questions, or ask for help when they should have asked. So there were times where things would come up. And you knew that they didn’t know how to do things. That’s when they should be saying, hey, help me on this. I’m not sure how to do that. Because this is your process. So okay, but if they won’t ask, How are we supposed to know? They don’t know. And so we think we they know it? And they don’t ask, so we didn’t even know that they didn’t know, the other thing they also did was they would delay payment, and then they would take forever to pay. And then they would say to us, well, how come you haven’t given us our product yet? Or how come you haven’t delivered on this deliverable that you said you were going to deliver? How can we even done this? And I’m like, Well, part of our agreement says we’re going to do it when we pay. When the payments received, we deliver. Why have you now paid is really what I wanted to ask. Right. So that whole conversation was very weird conversation that should have never happened. So delaying payment was also one of those also fits with what we talked about last time, which is, you know, they paid on time. And they that’s when you liked them, right. So yeah, again, that’s why it was my last item that I wrote down. Because there that’s not the most critical piece, because I can put up with delayed payment if everything else goes really well. All right, I’ll take take your time, we’ll get it taken care of. I worked with a client not too long ago, we read that last payment point. And she says to me, I can’t make this payment, can I make it in two payments? And I said, that’s okay, you know, let’s talk next week, we can do that. And she emailed me, I don’t know, early the next week and said, Actually, we’re all set. Let’s run the card. And okay, so we off we went and but it was just one of those I don’t mind delaying when they’re good people. Yes. When they’re not good people. That’s when you have a problem, right?

Lane  19:21

Yeah. Like a lot of people don’t, don’t really consider that, that you know, you you get a lot further with honey than you do salt or vinegar or whatever.

Rob  19:28

That is so true. That is so true. I’m going to stop this conversation right now. If you’re finding value in any one of our episodes, we want you to share it with somebody else. Just tell somebody hey, go listen to these cases has been good. Second, give us a review. Tell us what you think. And the third thing, hit that subscribe button so that you always get updated every time we release an episode.

Lane  19:48

We’d really appreciate it. Now back to the show.

Rob  19:52

What are some of those personalities that you don’t like to work with or attitudes that they have or their communication style? Well Are there any important things that you have? Well, I don’t want this type of person or this, this communication sour this type of attitude.

Lane  20:06

I have a hard time. And I think this sounds similar to the gentleman you’re just speaking of, or the person, you’re speaking of that, you know that when someone comes to you asking for advice, they, you know, here’s my problem. How do I solve this? I don’t know, I this is this is how you solve the problem. This is how we’ll do it. And there’s no, they came to you asking questions, but they don’t trust the answer. You’re giving them. Interesting. Why are you wasting my time? Then?

Rob  20:32

Why do you even ask, you know, better?

Lane  20:35

My consulting rate is x, I’m going to just send you a bill, you know?

Rob  20:38

Yeah, righ…That’s a good point. So some of the ones that I wrote down to as if they’re critical, like, they’re, they’re critical of everything you do, and point out problems and tell you, they don’t like this, and they don’t like that. And, you know, being critical is one thing when it’s deserved. Yeah, but it’s different when it’s not deserved. And I think about this particular company, when we work with them, some of the critiques that we received, were not valid, like they were just in his own head. And, you know, he will, he had a big version of what he wanted out of it. That’s not what he paid for, not what he asked for when we got started. And things change and evolve over time, that you can’t be you, when we, when we had that change happen. We addressed it talked about what we needed to do to make that to get to where he wanted to go. And then he was critical of that. And it’s like, well, let’s remember when we talked about this initial portion, or this initial goal here, this is what you want. And now you’re changing it to here. It’s like you can’t move the goal line, yeah, 30 more yards and say, well, we didn’t hit it, right. So that’s very difficult. being negative, and very pushy type of people is difficult to deal with to me. Now. That’s me, maybe other people who are don’t mind pushing us, that’s fine. But you need to figure out what it is for you. Right. The other thing is, they had a better than I’m better than you kind of an attitude, they’re a little bit arrogant. And it was like they talked down to you. So again, they come across as this is somebody that is not looking at you as a vendor, they’re looking to use you as a vendor and not looking at you as an advisor. And you really need to be that advisor, you need to be somebody that they trust. And they also communicated like really high level, no details. And then they were like, Well, what about this? What about that, and you’re like, Okay, I didn’t know that was in your head. And so if some detail would have been nice to know that there’s a step along the way that you wanted to see or know about, even though it was done, like I found unknown, you wanted to know that at a time, there’s a whole bunch of things can go into that. But when you’re only giving high level direction, that’s one thing. It’s another when there’s no details, and then you’re critical about it later, right? If you must pull information from the client to get any decisions or answers, that’s another one that’s frustrating for me, and somebody that’s very indecisive. I think you mentioned indecisive as well, to those, those are the types of people that I don’t like to work with, right? Or that’s the type of company that is difficult to work with. And that that you can’t, it’s just difficult. Alright, so now what do we do with all this information? Like, what do you think? What do you mean? How do you know that these people are have these traits? How do you find that out?

Lane  22:55

Ask a lot of questions.

Rob  22:55

Yes! That’s what I would do, I would ask a ton of questions. So give me some examples of some questions that you might ask to find out whether or not they have more of the, hey, I’m I’m looking for somebody that can give me some honest feedback, or, or that is clear what their directions are or knows what they want.

Lane  23:14

I guess I tend to just ask some of those those high level questions of what is it that you want? Ask what what’s the problem you’re trying to solve?

Rob  23:23

Alright, so So you ask what is it that you want? Or what is the prom you’re trying to solve? And they go, Well, I’m calling you because you’re the expert in this type of work. I’m not, I’m not sure how to get there. What do I need? Do? What do you what do you need from me? What do you do? How do we do that?

Lane  23:40

What issues are you facing that caused you to to call me?

Rob  23:44

Okay? And then they start getting into some of those details. And you find out that some of the reasons that they wanted to call you is because they were having struggles with A, B and C was costing him some money, you find all that information, they then become you start to learn that they’re a little bit open about and they’re very clear on what the problem is. Yeah. And now, you know, this is something I can solve,

Lane  24:07

Right, I know if I can solve it. And, you know, if if they can at least articulate what their problems are, then I mean, that’s half the battle.

Rob  24:13

Yeah. And so once they’ve gone through those steps, and you’ve answered that question, well, is it go or no, go?

Lane  24:19

Well, it’s great that we know what the problem is. But you know, what’s, what is the what are they hoping to accomplish? Right, great. You have these problems, but what’s what is your goal? What is what does success look like?

Rob  24:30

All right, if you find out that we know what the success is? X, Y and Z, that means that’s a good measurement of success. Are they good to go?

Lane  24:38

We’re we’re Yeah. In general, probably. There’s always a little bit of gray… There’s always a little gray area where you’re like, I don’t know, just something doesn’t seem right. And it and I totally agree. It comes out in intuition. Largely.

Rob  24:50

Yes. Yeah, totally agree there. So there is a point we’re going to have to make a decision and that’s going to be like do I Is this a go or no go? But what you want to do I think your whole attitude in this whole process needs to come across as you’re a no, until you prove you’re not a no. So your questions need to come across or your question have to come across as, you know, being inquisitive and learning and being curious and knowing what they’re, what they’re going after what you’re trying to do, and all the stuff you’re supposed to do for sales, right? And learning what their pains are and their problems are and how much it’s costing them and going through all those steps. But along the way, you get to listen for signals, that should say to you, oh, no, that’s not going to be a good deal. For example, I had a call the other day with somebody who said they wanted to do a project and the way that they wanted to do it was in a very specific location. And that location was not going to lend itself well to do the work that we needed to do. And so I pushed a little bit on that and said, I don’t think that’s going to be a good location. And here’s what I’ve experienced before. Have you seen the same thing? And she goes, Yes, that’s the same problem we have. Okay. It could be the location that’s causing some of that. Well, are you open to looking at other locations? No, we have to do this location. Okay. Well, I said, I don’t know that I’m a good we have a good fit. Because I, I’m telling you, this is not a good location, like in my head. This is my conversation. Right? Right, telling you this is not a good conversation. And you’re telling me I hear you, but I don’t care. And that was one flag. And then there were several other flags, such as well, can you prove to me that you can make this better? Can you show me this can and they were like very pushy in terms of like, I don’t believe anything you’re saying to me. And I had to call her out. Say, listen, I know what I know. We we can do. But it sounds like you’ve been burned a few times. Is that? Is that true? And she’s like, Yeah, okay. So if you’ve, you’ve talked to some people, they’ve tried to tell you one thing, and they can’t do it. I get that. But I’m, I’m of the mindset, I’d rather tell you. There’s something that I can’t do. And that location and that description of what we’re trying to do. I can’t do. I’m telling you that right now, I can’t make it any better than what you got right now. Yeah, if that’s the case, then it doesn’t sound like we’re a good fit. And she tried to fight me on that. And I said that I’m sorry, I just not going to work. Those are the kinds of questions you need to start to push back once you hear a red flag. And so I might ask another question like, you know, when you work with other vendors that are kind of like us, like, no, there’s nobody else quite like us. But when you work with somebody like us that does the work that we do. So pick a field that’s complementary to what you do, how do you work with them? What’s the process and have them describe what they are, what it’s like working with them to get to where you need to go? Right, then I like to ask sometimes inter splice. And if that makes sense, and I’m getting this weird vibe, I might ask the question. I’m just kind of curious. If we make a mistake along the process here and we get going, we work together for a little while. And we make a mistake, what’s going to happen? And it’s a little interesting, when you hear some of the answers that come back. Well, what do you mean, you make a mistake? Well, I mean, everybody makes a mistake, and then they start really getting fidgety and they start getting uncomfortable. Like, I don’t want a mistake. Well, neither do I. But let’s say it happens. Now. What right? So let’s talk about it. And then the other time, I might ask something like it, let’s say we do something? Well, that’s we go through this whole thing that we do perfectly. What happens then? And that’s a weird question. But if it made sense to ask that, I might find out that they’re gonna say, Well, dude, I’m gonna, I’m not gonna a couple of other companies that I’m gonna introduce you guys to, or I’ll do a review or out whatever that is right or wrong. Yeah, they may help you understand what they’re willing to do. And that’s not so much about getting that stuff as much as it is, what their predisposition or their their attitude is towards you. I might ask another question, like, how many people are gonna have to be involved in making some of the decisions? Because after we get started, even, because what it’ll find helped me find out is how complicated this whole thing’s gonna get. And I might also ask something like, you know, what are you looking for in a vendor or a trusted advisor or somebody that you can work with? And what do you what kind of some of the traits that you’re looking for. And you have to think in terms of, if they’re looking for some very specific traits, and it comes down to, I’m looking for somebody, they can execute what I’m asking them to do, you need to dig into that. Because if you’re, if you’re not one of those that likes to be told, this is what you’re going to be doing, and you’re going to have this for lunch today, then that’s probably not a person that you want to talk to. But if they come back with saying, listen, we’re looking for somebody that can do this can take care of this on their own, doesn’t need to be handheld, we just want you to be able to do the work that you’re doing. And we know that you can do it, because here’s what we’ve seen, and they start telling you why you’re good for the for, they’re probably going to be a good fit for you. Right? All these questions have to be set up so that you can know whether or not they have the right personality, their right attitude, the right approach the right, their whole process of doing things fit with what you want. And then I might also ask the other question of why do you think we’re going to work well together? I mean, is there any reason why you think we’d work well together at all? And sometimes it’s a surprising answer that you get back to, I think the key to this whole conversation, Lane, is that we have to figure out whether or not we’re a good fit or not good fit, from the start of the conversation all the way through the end of the conversation, right? Because if we halfway through get this weird vibe, it’s time to explore it.

Lane  24:51


Rob  25:42

Well, we’re exploring. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So it becomes a bail or no bail at some point, right. But enough tick marks on the bail line, you’re gonna go I think so I don’t want to do this. Yeah. So if they’re combative, it’s probably a no go for me, right? If they’re gonna be very combative up front. That’s the way it’s gonna go from the rest of the time you guys are gonna work together, right?

Lane  30:20

And once once you’ve signed that contract, and there’s actual money on the table, it’s only gonna get worse.

Rob  30:26

Yeah, exactly. I mean, how many? How many times if you felt like this is going to be a weird relationship, whether it’s a combative one, or one that can’t be clear, indecisive, all that stuff you’ve started with in the sales process? And then fast forward into the experience that you were working together? That was exactly or worse? Yeah, almost. Every time I’ve had that, yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s crazy. Well, salespeople out there have probably known this for a long time. If you’re new in sales, or you’re a business owner, these are the real questions that you need to be asking or figuring out, take the time and go through and figure out what are the traits, the things that you like and dislike about your best and worst clients, write it all down, make sure that you know what that is very clearly. And then literally put it out there that these are the types of clients you’re looking for. I’m looking for a client that gives us the guidance and the guide rails to say, here’s where we’re going, they’re looking for quality, they’re looking for somebody that’s going to have all the traits that they need to do to do the work where they’re looking for somebody that it can do their part, so that they can have that person do their part that they need to do. They’re gonna give feedback, all these things that you’re looking for, and then they pay on time, right? Those are the ones that you’re looking for put that out there, like these are the style of people that I’m looking for, in addition to I want this type of business, or I want this type of leader or this type of position, or, you know, whatever it is that you’re looking for that way. I mean, I don’t know did that. Does that help you Lane at all? Have you had anything come out of this as something that would be helpful?

Lane  31:55

Yeah, I think I like some of your, your more probing questions. So I’ll have to incorporate some of those into into my little bag of tricks.

Rob  32:02

Yeah, what it comes down to is just really being curious and knowing where you’re trying to go when you have that curiosity. So I’m curious, are they going to be a negative critical kind of a person? I need to figure out what question will get me the answer to figure out are they critical? And are they pushy? are they negative, that kind of person? And that’s what I have to ask the question right and find the right way to ask that question at the right time. So I hope that helps everybody out there listening. Lane, I think it’s time we wrap this up or what do you think?

Lane  32:28

I think we should.

Rob  32:29

Alright, sounds good. Until next time, everybody. Don’t forget to slow down and close more.

V/O  32:35

Thank you for listening to The Slow Pitch. Do you have a question about sales? Call or text your question at (608) 708-SLOW that (608) 708-7569. Or you can email them to Questions@TheSlowPitch.com. Slow Down and Close More.

Rob  33:24

Thanks, as always, for listening today. If you’d like this podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review. We really appreciate it. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at The Slow Pitch. We were mixed today as always by Johnny Polakis. And we were produced by High Gravity Studios. Music credits and other notes are in the show notes section on TheSlowPitch.com And we’ll be back with another episode soon.

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