Inbound Leads: Slam Dunks or Looky-loos?

What is a sales person’s dream? An inbound lead.

Someone has found your company, responded online or sent an email, and wants to know more about how you can help them.

A slam dunk deal, right?

Not so fast…

If you’ve been fielding inbound leads for a while, then you’ve probably noticed something: Not all inbound leads buy.

But how can this be? Didn’t the prospect reach out to me? Shouldn’t he/she be a deal?

Many sales reps today still make the mistake of taking “implied interest” in your company or service, to mean someone is interested, qualified, and ready to buy.

The way to capture a deal in this situation—if there is one—is to treat an inbound lead like any other: you need to qualify them.

Here are a few questions that will help you separate the slam dunks from the looky-loos:

“Thanks for reaching out to us today. Tell me, what motivated you to contact us?”


“I’m sure you’re looking at other companies, just out of curiosity, what is most important when choosing a company for this?”


“Who, besides yourself, is involved in making this decision?”


“After you’ve found the company that you think is best for you, what is your timeline for purchasing this?”

The next time you get an inbound lead, make sure and ask the questions above. It will help you decide who to spend your time with, versus who to let go of. And knowing that will save you a lot of aggravation later on.

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