Sales Coach Christine Harrington

Are You Stopping Too Soon? You Just Might Be Sabotaging Lead Development!

How long does it take to develop, qualify and sell a lead? 1 or 2 sales conversations, 6 or 9? What’s your magic number?

Are you stopping too soon?

How many calls, & emails did it take before you finally reached the prospect for the first time to have a sales conversation?

OR how many times did it take to reach the prospect after the initial sales conversation?

Many times I hear from sales professionals if 2 voice messages and 2 emails go unanswered then the prospect is not a viable lead. How can you possibly know that if you’ve never had a sales conversation with the prospect or follow-up conversation?  An unresponsive prospect doesn’t raise the red flag of “not interested.” If you believe that then you’re leaving undeveloped money on the table for your competitors.

According to Brevet Group, (source)

  • it takes 8 cold call attempts to reach the prospect.
  • 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting.
  • 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up.

I’ll ask again…Are you stopping too soon?

First, let’s define a lead. (are you giving me the eye roll?)

A lead is a person who has an interest in your company’s product, service or both.

As a lead, you may have come across a website, advertisement, or you’ve heard from a business which you’ve already opened some type of communication.

Maybe it’s your 65th birthday so you start researching medicare supplements plans online. There’s one particular website you’re drawn to. So you fill out a survey or online form for an agent to contact you.

This is an example of lead generation because it attracted and converted you (the Medicare supplement prospect) to fill out the online form. You are now a lead for the agent to contact and sell.

The steps in lead development 

Attract – Convert – Close

Here’s where many sales professionals stop too soon.

Once the prospect is attracted then converted to a lead, many times the lead is not properly qualified so the sale professional makes an assumption that may not be true.

“I left 2 voice messages, and sent 2 emails but the prospect didn’t respond at all. There’s no interest.”

“The prospect probably changed her mind or bought from the competitor, since my follow-up attempts have gone unanswered.”

My question to you is…do you know this to be true? NO!

Remember the stats I quoted at the beginning of this article?

According to Brevet Group, (source)

  • it takes 8 cold call attempts to reach the prospect.
  • 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting.
  • 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up.

Do you give up after 1 or 2 follow-ups?

If you recall, last week I talked about “Build your Sales Resilience in 5 Steps.” If you missed the article, let me suggest to read it and come back to this article.


Because giving up too soon is a reflection of your resilience weakness.

Now, I’m not talking about beating a dead horse type of leads! My reference is regarding “qualified leads”.

I’ve witnessed it over and over again undeveloped leads becoming dormant because the sales professional made the wrong assumption or worse….waited too long to follow-up. 

An unresponsive prospect after only 2 phone call attempts, is not a dead lead! It’s an undeveloped lead.

Go back through last weeks leads and determine how many undeveloped leads you have. If you haven’t contacted them within 48 hours of your last contact, every hour that passes you become less and less of a priority to the prospect.

When I’ve analyzed sales teams activities, one common theme among all is lack of follow-up and follow-thru. Too many times sales professional take the easy way out, sending an email.

Alan Weiss said this…

Always think “relationship.” Don’t send an email when a phone call is more effective, and don’t make a phone call when a meeting is more effective. Don’t look for the easiest path, take the most effective path.

Which path are you taking? Yes…it takes discipline!

Here is another article, you may find helpful..“Before You Send Your Next Digital Email Read This!”

Do you need help with lead development discipline?  Then schedule an introductory phone call with me by clicking here. You’ll never know what’s possible unless you do. Why not do it now!

Christine Harrington is the Savvy Sales Lady, helping sales teams and individuals win more sales through a unique way of selling called Peak Performance Mindset. Christine brings 40 years of selling experience with Fortune 500 Companies, to help you shorten the learning curve, move past your selling blocks and position yourself as a Peak Performer. Sales Leaders, Sales Managers, Sales Teams, Small Business owners and their employees have captured their edge by attending Christine’s Peak Performance Mindset Workshop and Coaching. Learn how she can help you or your team. Get the edge by clicking here

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