Ignore that Prospect


ignoreInvest Your Time With These Folks

Most of the time, sales professionals spend their time with potential customers who do not buy. That's a very costly usage of time. If you are in sales, how much cash would you make if your entire day was spent with people who purchased? You'd make a lot and that points me to the question at hand, "why do you spend time with people who don't purchase?"

At first, this question may seem to be ludicrous because your issue is that you don't know in advance who will buy and which prospective customers will not. However, you'll be able to determine that in 5 minutes. But you don't and you continue to get in touch with and drip on prospective customers who are non-buyers. You have a periodic success with these techniques so you keep doing them. But the number of sales you lose by devoting time to non-buyers costs you a fortune. I've noticed that folks who sell have often been educated to commit most of their time to challenging prospective customers. They have learned lessons like "the sale doesn't begin until you hear 'no' six times" or "never take no for an answer."

The 5 Minute Investment

Rich sales pros however behave differently. Rather, they commit not more than 5 minutes with a prospect to determine if there is a match between the prospective client's desires and the seller's product/service. If there is no match, the expert sales person asks for a referral and moves on. Less successful sellers will grind the prospective client and attempt to convince the prospect why the seller's product/service is so great and why the prospect should want it. Please don't do this, for three reasons:

  1. It is disrespectful. If somebody says they have no interest, value what they say. The reasons that sales people of all types (e.g. vehicle sales persons, insurance agents, financial advisors) get low scores for trustworthiness is because of their agenda to sell their item instead of placing the prospect's goals first. Sure, you might get 10% of these people to eventually buy, but there is no way these few sales can make a case for the time and energy committed towards the 90% who never buy.
  2. This is not the type of client you desire. If you have to grind them to a close, this is a person who will have buyer's remorse, likely terminate the purchase or just grow to be a headache later. These are the people who require additional service and are unprofitable for you.
  3. It makes you poor by allocating most of your time to people who don't purchase rather than potential customers who DO purchase. It's easy to forget that every minute you spend with a non-buyer is a minute that you did not spend with a buyer. Your time and effort, your most valuable resources, have a tremendously high opportunity cost.

So why do you try to persuade a potential customer when they communicate no interest? Because you believe that prospective buyers are scarce. This is not correct but most of the economy works under this false supposition. By omitting the marketing step, as so many companies do and is crucial for any effective sales program, the sales process becomes distorted and inefficient as explained. If you don't want a deficiency of prospective customers, then you must grow to be a marketer and not simply a sales person.


  1. […] Too many sales professionals spend their time with prospective customers who do not buy. That’s a very expensive usage of time. If you’re in sales, how much cash would you make if your entire day was spent with individuals who purchased? You’d make a lot and that points me to the question, “why would you spend time with people who don’t purchase?” […]


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