What One Question Determines If A Prospect Is A Qualified Lead Or A Tire Kicker?

Did you know that for highly considered, high ticket, high margin items there is one type of question that lets you know if an individual is seriously considering making a purchase or is just looking? I learned this valuable lesson about lead scoring while speaking with John Uppgren the founder of Techbarn. He has dedicated years of research to master the entire lead management process.

To start, I want to describe the types of purchases the question is most effective on. The first is High ticket, which needs very little introduction and is commonly used to describe expensive items. Now for people not in the lead world, I want to be sure to define the meaning of a high consideration item. High consideration items are items people think about and research for a long period of time before they make a final purchase decision.

So, what is the question type that gives you the answer and insight of whether a prospect is a qualified lead or a tire kicker? The magical question is “What is your time frame for making your purchase”? When you do this you should have a menu of time frames to select from. The menu list should also include no time frame. As John stated in our conversation “If they don’t have a project or their time frame is not really solidified, it probably means they are not in the market”.

Techbarn has statistical evidence of this from one of their research projects. They were able to research over 700,000 closed loop client orders. They were able to track the initial lead through order and delivery. The data clearly showed the importance of the time frame question. It is amazing to have a data set that is so complete.

So what did the data show from this study?

For prospects who said they planned on making a purchase in less than 30 days, 75% actually purchased in that time frame. As you go farther out in time, the conversation rate starts to go done. Even for people planning to purchase in 90 days, 70% purchased their product, though the average time frame was 110 days to purchase for that group. Leads that did not provide a time frame had an insignificant purchase rate.

The mistake many companies make is that they treat all leads equally. Your lead system should have ways to differentiate leads. John Uppgren suggests that every company should have a system in place to treat leads differently based on lead scoring. So for a lead that says they are going to purchase in the next 30 days you want to send them your best brochures, samples and a follow up with a call to schedule an appointment. Even if you’re a manufacturer, you can set up an appointment with that lead to visit one of your distributors. Now if you are working with a lead that does not have a time frame for purchase, you may want to send them a more limited brochure. You can invest the savings in the nicer brochure and system to set up appointments for the hot leads.

The key lesson of this blog post is to be sure to have a time frame question build into your lead collection system. You should also weigh leads with quicker purchase time frames more heavily. Make sure you anchor your lead scoring system on project timing.

You can learn more about John Uppgren and lead management systems by visiting the www.techbarn.com website. Look for additional pieces on lead management systems from our discussion. There was a significant amount of valuable information shared.

What other lead management tips have you found to be important when it comes to lead management success? Please share your comments below.

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David Domos developed WhyBuyFromYou.com to provide content to help small businesses develop their branding, marketing and sales systems. In the past he held key leadership positions for a fortune 500 company. That company led the market in both sales and brand awareness and David was a significant contributor to its growth. David has been on the Amazon.com best seller list in their Direct Marketing, Communications and Entrepreneurship categories. He is a student of sales, marketing, branding & small business growth, continually focusing on the reason people buy. Follow him on Twitter @WhyBuyFromYou or visit www.whybuyfromyou.com.

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