One look at the picture to the right should make you cringe as slash and burn or clear cutting a forest is wasteful and destructive to the environment. Slash and burn IT marketing techniques also make me cringe as they are wasteful to capital and labor… What are slash and burn sales techniques? This is where sales leads that come in to a computer business from different marketing avenues are run through a process where they are checked to see if they have an immediate need or immediate budget. No matter what the prospects situation happens to be, if they don’t meet the stringent requirements of the managed services firm, then they are cast aside. Many times the prospect is never even called back and informed they were not a fit for the slash and burn computer business.
Slash And Burn Sales Methods Waste Capital and Labor
How do we know that slash and burn sales methods are wasteful and what exactly does it mean to slash and burn technology sales leads? First, if you have a lead that has been set up by your telemarketing department and a decision makers has agreed to meet with your company to find out more about what you have to offer, then if a sales person calls that lead before going on-site to meet with them face-to-face to verify if they have an immediate need, budget and ready to buy; then you have have just slashed and burned your sales lead. This is because most prospects are not willing to say they are ready to buy before they have seen what you have to offer or heard some pricing information. In addition, we understand that most C Level decision makers are effective negotiators who know the more needy they sound the less negotiating power they have. As a result the will say they don’t have an immediate need even when they might…. these burned leads are really lost opportunities.
Another example of slashing and burning leads could be when your sales people goes on-site to sales calls that they just don’t think are a fit and they basically let the prospect know that they are not happy by their facial expression, mannerisms, demeanor or even coming right out and asking very direct questions that irritate the prospect. An example of this would be one firm I worked with years ago that would sit down and ask the prospect directly if they were the final decision maker. If the prospect hesitated even a little saying that they were the ultimate decision maker, then this computer consultant would rudely get up and walk out of the room. However, it escapes most consultants notice that many business owners or executives dodge being pinned down as the decision maker, so they can’t be put on the hot seat and easily closed.
Now how do we know these actions are burning leads that might otherwise have been a good sales opportunity. One company that we were able to identified as a slash and burn operation because they called a qualified IT services marketing prospect before their meeting to verify she had budget and immediate need. This company had run this lead through their sales machinery and caste it aside. We know this is a waste of time and capital because when we called this prospect back she had no idea the computer services firm wasn’t going to come out to see her any more. We were able to explain what happened and she was still willing to meet with an IT sales person and this slash and burned lead was salvaged from a burn pile.
In the situation were a computer consultant had intentionally let a prospect know they thought the company wasn’t a fit and upset them, then we were able to call those prospects back and discover that the salesman had pitched the wrong thing or didn’t listen and we were also able to send out another tech firm. This proves that these techniques waste IT sales leads and that if you’re using telemarketing for IT lead generation, then you are literally throwing away money when you continue to use slash and burn methods in your marketing process.
About The Author:
John Black is the Marketing Director at MSP Telemarketing and has over 10 years’ experience in IT marketing on behalf of computer support providers and VARs to help them get more IT leads that turn into IT sales!