Are you really going to buy something from me?

19149276 You get a call or an e-mail.  You resist the urge to jump up and down.  Boy, this one sounds good.  They fit your client profile and they contacted you.  Their buying signals are flashing like the Bat Signal in the sky they’re so blatant.   You know you could truly help their business.

You might as well print off the contract now, right?

Not so fast, my friend.  Any of these ever happen to you?

  • They already know they want to hire your competitor but need to demonstrate they’ve done due diligence by getting a few bids.
  • They’re using the "put it out to bid" pressure tactic to get their current provider to snap back into order.
  • Their RFP is awfully detailed — they’re fishing for free ideas so they can do it themselves.
  • You’d be their 4th or 5th (fill in the blank with your profession) in the past few years.

So how do you figure out if they’re really a buyer?  Here are some signs that you can at least put the champagne in the fridge to cool:

  • Do you have access/time with the CEO and other top leaders?  If not…odds are whatever you sell isn’t a priority for the organization.
  • Are they used to paying for services like yours?  In the same price range?  You don’t want to be the one to break in the new kid. 
  • Does your sweet spot match up with one of their biggest pain points?  They’re going to want pain relief and look for a partner who can promise them that, via pat experience or great ideas.
  • Are they the ones driving the process — being flexible about getting together and reaching out for more information, a demo, etc.?
  • Are they quick to answer e-mail, return phone calls, get you data that you requested?

If you answered yes to all five does it mean you are on Easy Street?  You know better.  But at least it means the opportunity is probably a good one.  Now, it’s up to you.