15 Oct PWOTS?

Digging through some articles from the past I came across information on PWOTS. (Potential Waste Of Time).  Some salespeople find themselves spending time with a bad prospects – after all, it feels better than having no meetings at all.  The challenge in sales is to separate the genuine prospects from the bogus ones – qualifying their validity early in the process can make or break a sales person.

So why do so many sales pro’s spend time on PWOTs?  Maybe they haven’t learned what a PWOT really looks like (they can be sneaky) or maybe they don’t have anyone else to talk to and would rather spend time with a PWOT than do some of the other things piling up on their desk.  And if you think a PWOT is bad, try dealing with a DWOT (Definite Waste of Time).

Why Do We Do This?

A lot of salespeople are serious “people-people” and sincerely enjoy talking and socializing with others.  They say they are building relationships – they should be selling and end up spending too much time with other nice people-people who just want a relationship or someone to talk to.

Sometimes, they are so keen on being friendly and building the relationship that they forgo the unpleasant talk of actually asking someone to buy from them for fear of upsetting the relationship.  Just what kind of a relationship is this?  We all know that people buy from people they like and people they trust, but you can go overboard on making a friend and neglect your primary purpose, to help the other person make a wise buying decision.

PWOTs and other bogus prospects can usually be quickly identified:

·         They mask their complete lack of authority and will create the illusion that they hold more influence than they really do.  They can almost always agree with a salespeople but are rarely the one in the company with the power to say no.

·         They don’t like you asking questions –putting them in danger of exposure to the truth.

·         They offer vague answers to specific questions –  it is not their intention to make it easy for you but they enjoy the banter.

·         They show little respect for your time or effort.  They often fail to keep appointments, arrive late for meetings, hide behind voice mail, and don’t return your calls.

·         They try to get you to change your policies and procedures on price, products, terms, etc.  This helps them delay the ultimate non-decision

·         They will almost always dodge questions regarding money or funding.

These bogus prospects are not all bad or thoughtless people.  Often they are fine individuals who simply can’t say no to a salesperson because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Sometimes they are ego driven individuals who need to feel important.

Genuine Prospects

So what do these people look like? 

·         They don’t mind you asking questions.  In fact they enjoy the exchange and know you need to get certain information if you are to help them make a wise and “good fit” buying decision.

·         They are realistic and honest about money.  They are not trying to buy two dollar’s worth of business for one dollar.  They understand the concept of cost versus value.

·         They know where the money is coming from and when it will be available. They know the difference between wished-for money and money in the bank.

·         They have a professional, business-like approach to their dealings with you.

·         They are clear about when they want to buy.  They want results and they know that the sooner they make a decision, the sooner they will get them.

·         They value their time and yours.  They will hesitate to give you an appointment if they feel it will be a mutual waste of time.

Learn to differentiate the genuine from the bogus and focus only on genuine prospects.  You’ll find your results improving and save time – time that can be spent finding other “good fit” customers and providing outstanding service to the clients you already have.


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