EMERGENCY OR WALK IN…when's the last time you had occasion to go to the Emergency Department at your local hospital? When's the last time you had to get quick medical response? Hopefully it was a long time ago. The next time you drive by a hospital, think of the two types of situations in that environment that the medical staff has to deal with. They have two types of customers… 1. Emergency cases & 2. Walk-ins. The Emergency cases need immediate support and nothing can get in the way. Walk-ins on the other hand do not warrant immediate treatment and may have to wait a while to be looked after. If the hospital did not make this differentiation and treated everyone the same, it would be a disaster! A person with a broken leg should be attended to much sooner than someone who has a bad cough. That's just common sense.
There is an obvious parallel between what goes on in a hospital and what happens in the Sales Business. Sometimes in my Coaching business a new Client will come to me in with the following two concerns:
1. I just don't seem to have enough time to get everything done
2. Some of my leads are going elsewhere!
The diagnosis from "Dr. Bruce" is that this Coaching Client is "suffering from the disease of treating all leads/customers the same way". There is no differentiation being made between Emergency patients and Walk-ins. That's a sure-fire way to end up with lost business and low production!
Here is your ACTION STEP… are you guilty of being afflicted with the same disease? Do you treat all your customers the same way? If you were a brand-new Salesperson and you were attending Sales Training 101 they would probably tell you to… "treat all your Customers the same way". In the real world this is bad advice! All Customers are not created equal. Here's a much more "streetwise" approach:
1. Separate your prospects into two groups… 30 days leads-those who will buy or sell in the next 30 days (Emergency patients) and longer-term leads (Walk-ins)
2. Put a mark-over date (the day you will be calling them next) on both types of leads
3. Go through your 30 day leads every day (Emergency patients), never miss following them up on the day you designated that you would next be in touch
4. Keep the longer-term leads in a separate follow-up file. Do not let them "contaminate" your hot leads. Don't ignore them, just understand the need to keep them separate
Not treating all leads the same is wise. There is an old mantra that says… "the longer the lead time, the less chance of it actually happening". People change their minds, their motivation changes, and their circumstances and ability to act changes. To some extent, the Sales Business requires you to "play the odds". Calculate where your best opportunities lie and look after those situations first. In the time that's left you can follow-up with the others. Never ignore either group. Just make sure the high-priority leads are addressed first. Never let an "Emergency patient" die because you were looking after somebody with a hangnail. NO Excuses.