If you have seen my newsletter or the February issue of Smart CEO, you know that I cannot quit talking about ghosts despite Halloween being long past! The reason is that as I investigate barriers to productivity for my clients, the same issue in the sales teams keeps rearing its ugly head. I call it “chasing phantom prospects”.
This phenomenon occurs when we continue to go after a “prospect” that we should not be wasting time or energy trying to convert. We give the illusion of productivity because we have a long list of names and a high call average. “Look at me, I am soooooo busy!”
It is time to examine that prospect list and “give up the ghost”. Until a desired client is ready to commit to giving you a meeting, they are merely a lead and not a prospect. Leads are good too, but make sure you are
differentiating the two and appropriating resources accordingly.
Another barrier to peak performance occurs when we continue pursuing a “prospect” for the wrong reasons. Maybe they were good clients in the past. Maybe their business is in our comfort zone. Maybe they are the type of client we wish we could land, but lack the product to meet their needs. Whatever the reason, you need to take a critical look at the potential opportunity and be realistic. What are the chances this effort will be converted to sales!
At Smart Performance Strategies, we are guilty of chasing a few ghosts as well. I have wined, dined, invited, and pitched certain companies, who shall remain nameless, far too long. Tell us about one of your phantom prospects. You may see it featured in a future SmartCEO column!