7 Signs It's Not a Hot Lead

Pete Schauer

Marketing Director

Relationships are hard. The interactions you have with your leads are no exception. Just when you think you have a hot lead and you’re ready to close the deal, they bail. You’re not sure why. Was it something you did? Something you said? Something you couldn’t offer them?

It’s normal and natural to have leads that part their ways. You can’t please everyone, and it’s likely that the prospects you’re working with are also looking at your competitors. Sometimes it just comes down to the logistics of things. Perhaps the prospect preferred working with a local company, or maybe your competitor could offer better rates.

However, if your company is continually having leads passed on to the sales team that aren't successful, something is wrong. There is a difference between passing on leads and passing on qualified leads. It may be time to redefine what a qualified lead looks like to your business.

Some companies find it easier to define what an unqualified lead looks like instead, since it can be easier to identify characteristics that rule people out right from the start. Make sure that your marketing and sales teams are up to speed on this information so that time is not wasted on either end.  

Here are seven signs that the lead you’re working with isn’t so into you after all.

1. Your lead doesn’t have the budget.

If the lead you’re working with doesn’t have the budget for your product or service, there’s not much you can do to change the situation. Many people shop around for products and services that they don’t have the budget for, so it’s up to you to do some exploring. While you don’t want to scare the prospect away, you don’t want to waste your time either.

We recommend not asking for the prospect’s budget right away. Instead, use it as a question on a bottom-of-the-funnel form. This gives the prospect time to learn about your services and establish a sense of trust, and then you can determine if you can work within their budget.

2. Your lead isn’t the ultimate decision maker.

It’s amazing how many people go through the trouble of pursuing a service, but the power to purchase isn’t in their control. But, this happens. And it’s a good way to lose a lead. What one person views as the right pick, another person may not.

Try to connect with the decision maker right off the bat. If you’re not attracting the right people, reevaluate your marketing strategy so that it better aligns with the right individuals. Posting on LinkedIn, for example, can help link you to the right people.

3. Your lead doesn’t have a use for your product or service.

It’s crucial that you understand your audience, their pain points and how your product can make their lives easier. This will help you connect with the right people from the get go rather than wasting time or energy on those who don’t have a need for your product. But you must also consider those that could benefit from your product but don’t plan on switching from their current vendor. If they’re 100% loyal, pursuing them may not be worth your time.

4. Your lead is either too big or too small for your solution.

It’s probable that your product or service is fit for some sized businesses and not others. If you attract enterprise-sized leads but your service can’t support them, they aren’t really a qualified lead, even though you may want them to be. The same goes for businesses that are too small. Maybe your product is meant for the big guys and this is where you’ll make your money.

Unlike asking for a budget, you can ask for the size of the company right away. This won’t scare them away, and it will ensure that you’re both the right fit. For leads that don’t match your ideal size criteria, don’t end the relationship for good. Keep their information and let them know that you’ll be happy to contact them if your product ever meets their needs.

5. Your lead is located outside of your selling territory.

It’s a great feeling when you start to experience reach outside of your territory. This means that your marketing efforts are paying off, and your product is valuable to more than just local customers. Unfortunately, you may not be able to serve all of these customers due to geographical limitations. The prospect may not know this, so it’s up to you to keep an eye on where they’re coming from.

If you do choose to offer your service globally, make sure that you offer a localized experience for each territory with appropriate keywords and pricing.

6. Your lead isn’t impressed by your content.

Your content is responsible for bringing in leads, but it’s also meant to move customers further down the buying funnel. If it’s not doing this, the lead may not be so qualified after all. They may be losing interest in your product or feel that your service isn’t really beneficial for their needs. When you notice that emails are going unopened and your links aren’t getting clicked on, you’ll have to assume that you’re not fully engaging the prospect.

Again, you don’t have to toss these leads away for good. Instead, prioritize the leads that are engaging in your content and use a re-engagement campaign to target other leads at a later time.

7. Your lead lied about their contact information.

Ouch. This one hurts. No one likes to receive fake information, but this is exactly what people do when they don’t want to be contacted. Perhaps the lead wanted to cash in on an offer but wasn’t really interested in being contacted, so they entered in false information. Or maybe they felt obligated to give a name and email, but had no intentions of seeking out more information. Whatever the original intent, this contact just isn’t into you.

Your advertising budget probably isn’t limitless, and neither is your time. Though having a large number of leads may look promising, quality is more important. Keep the above tips in mind as you identify qualified leads and pass them along to your sales team.

About the Author: Pete Schauer

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Pete Schauer is the Marketing Director at SEMGeeks. He holds a M.A. in Digital Communications from William Paterson University and has 8+ years in the digital space with companies such as Bleacher Report and Social Media Today in addition to SEMGeeks. His background includes creative and professional writing as well as strategic digital marketing communications and management.

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