When leads from big companies fall out of the sky, you need to know which ones are dead ducks and which ones are gold. Discerning is not always easy.
Leads from large corporations sound impressive but are they expressing a genuine interest in your product? Or are they checking the value you offer against an existing supplier? Or is some minion in a big firm simply filling time?
When big numbers are intimated, even the best salespeople can find it difficult to draw basic information out of the buyer's man who is suddenly curiously shy. Trying to combine selling and fact finding in a single call is rarely productive if the prospect is being coy. The best solution is to split the process and find out everything you can about the lead before you arrange a time to open the sale. Small companies are usually more frank about what they are doing, but your ability to win additional or repeat orders is low.
With any lead, large or small, you need to get a feeling of the situation. Establish the following:
♦ Level of person you are dealing with
♦ What they are ideally looking for
♦ When they expect delivery (this can be telling)
♦ Who makes the purchasing decision
♦ Delivery and contact addresses
♦ The value of their order and their payment policy (some expect four to six months' credit)
Be guarded. Don't give large firms anything you wouldn't give a small one. They are quite capable of wearing you down.
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