How To Avoid Wasted Time on Tire Kickers By Leveraging Lead Data
Closing Deals May 7, 2019 admin
When it comes to nudging leads into clients, no one wants to waste time. Not you, and certainly not your potential clients. It’s all about finding the right fit for both parties.
But what constitutes the “right fit?” And how do you avoid the “wrong fit?”
Nobody wants to waste time on “tire kickers.” The leads that are constantly needling you with seemingly inane questions, inspect every aspect of your business down to the minutiae and then leave. You don’t want to be spending too much time following up with leads that end up not going anywhere; or if you do land the deal, neither of your expectations completely align with each other.
To save yourself, your team, and your potential clients time, start using data to build up a picture of what an “ideal client” is and what it isn’t.
Follow this step by step guide below to learn how.
Step 1: Capture Data For New Leads
Leads are coming in – but you don’t want just anyone, you want to find someone direct and honest about their goals and have a clear overall direction. Then comes the qualification: did you like your last client? Were the dealings with them straight forward and time spent working on their project received positively? Would you like to find more of these people?
To help you identify these things, try creating a client intake form.
Client Intake Forms
Client intake forms, like the one shown in this tutorial are an easy way to filter through clients. An intake form is a series of quick-to-answer questions that can give you a general overview of the client’s wants and needs while giving them an idea of what you are offering.
Think of this as not only a time saving tool, but your formal introduction to a lead for a potential client. The point is to quickly identify who is a good fit for your services or product. This is as much of a chance for them to get to know what you’re about as it is for you to get a feel for them. Think of it as a pre-consultation consultation. It’s something they can complete before entering. It helps find any red flags or other potential areas of incompatibility that can arise.
When creating a client intake form, open up with a welcome message and try and make it customized to the client. When asking questions try and be qualitative first and foremost, you want written answers when appropriate and not all just numbers.
Try experimenting with other answering methods like multiple choice or numbered rankings when you can. Make sure you think about the type of questions you’re writing and why they’re important. Focus the questions on how your business can help them and how they define themselves and what they need from you. You also want your questions to be short. Leads don’t want to be writing out a series of novels just to get in your door.
Try asking questions like these:
- What are your aims and objectives?
- How would you quickly explain your brand?
- What are the problems you’re facing?
- Where did you hear about us?
- What are your final expectations?
Secondly, you want the form to be easily available. Don’t be afraid to embed it in your website, or if you’re worried about time-wasters or competitors tying up your time, send it directly to a lead that you feel is a good fit, like sending the link through an introductory email. You can also fill this out for them while you’re on the phone with a new prospect. The main thing is that you’re capturing this data so you can review trends in it later.
To help you identify trends in ideal customers, try adding an internal document to supplement the intake form during or after the client project. Try asking questions such as:
- Did the lead close the deal?
- Why or why not?
- Was the project a success?
- Why or why not?
A small business CRM like Daylite can help with the tracking of this information, as well as provide an easy way to digitally paperclip overlapping information together for further analysis.
Step 2: Analyze the Data
Now that you’ve captured all this data about new and potential clients, it’s time to sort through and analyze it looking for trends.
Start by separating by prospects that ended up closing from the ones that didn’t. Look for trends and commonalities that you can spot to help you identify in the future when there’s a prospect that is not likely to convert so you can know up front who you shouldn’t be wasting time on.
Ask questions internally such as:
- Why didn’t the deal close?
- What were the differentiating factors between those that did?
- For the leads that did become clients, were there projects that didn’t go well?
- For the clients that the project didn’t go well, what were their needs and expectations?
Step 3: Leverage the Data to Make Informed Decisions
Now that you’ve gone through the data, you should be seeing trends of what an ideal lead is (and what isn’t). Now you should know what works and what doesn’t through your data, so you can focus on what an ideal lead looks like accordingly.
You and your team can identify unqualified leads and say NO to those, and focus on the ones you’ve determined are qualified. By doing so, you’ll be able to grow your business because you’re cutting wasted time. To do this, build a Buyer Profile for your team to reference for future use. This way everyone will be clear on what traits to look for and what to avoid.
Creating a “Good Fit” Summary (Building Buyer Profiles)
Taking what you’ve learned above about what constitutes as winning factors for clients, you’re going to build a hypothetical buyer profile of an ideal customer for your small business. This doesn’t necessarily have to be detailed, but it must list the top traits that you’re looking for in a client based on past success.
An ideal lead or prospect should be someone who has realistic budget expectations, has a strong understanding of what you’re offering and a positive attitude going in.
The same can be said about unqualified leads. Ideally you don’t want to be focusing on people who show a lack of focus in their answers, have a negative attitude or are unrealistic about their budgeting expectations. Let the data inform you on who you want to take on as a client, and who would be best served elsewhere.
Use these Buyer Profiles and share them with your team so everyone is aligned on how to spot an ideal client from a tire kicker. That way everyone can see what historical patterns work, and what patterns lead to a poor fit right at their fingertips.
If you want to stop wasting time on tire kickers and focus more of your time on leads that you know will end up closing and being the “right fit” clients, you have to leverage your data. Creating a client intake form and buyer profiles for your team allows a more streamlined approach to lead acquisition. This frees you up to focus on the right type of lead and easily saying no to the wrong ones.
About the author:
Xander Cavalier is a former radio broadcaster and community organizer with grass-roots experience in Northern Ontario. He is currently based in the GTA. You may reach out to him on LinkedIn.