Hang on, before you get your pipeline in a knot, read on and discover. We’re talking about client profiling, not racial profiling. The reality is that all the things (some) people do not like about the type of profiling that takes place at airports, or in upscale shops at suburban malls, do indeed help sellers identify not just buyers, but the right buyers, and as a results buyers who buy faster. After all, if you could recognize the attributes of a buyer, and recognize them sooner, that would be good. The only thing better, is recognizing the attributes of a non-buyer so you can save time and resources.
Now unlike the other profiling, you probably can’t afford the type of heavy technology, algorithms and other applications used by some, but then again you don’t need to. What you do need is the discipline to invest the time to develop a simple profiling process, and the discipline to actually put it into practice.
This goes beyond the simple concept of analyzing your wins so you can hone your perception, and hope only engage with winners. Too much of a good thing can come back to bite, and without a balance discipline, selective perception can devolve into restricted perception, leaving good opportunities unpursued. Given the fact that most B2B sellers have less than a 50% close ratio, more like a 25% closing average, it is foolish to ignore your losses. By understanding why you both win and lose, you can sharpen your success filters, change things that are causing you to lose, and disqualify non-buyers sooner; some would call that a win – win – win.
Profiling can be done in a number of ways, all looking to gain insight based on different factors. There are those who try to do it based on personality traits, DISC would be an example. Although if you buy in to the notion that people buy from people they like, does this lead to people selling to people they like, and if so, how do I know if I’m going to like them before I pick up the phone? Ah, now I get why so many people have call reluctance, they don’t know if they’re going to like the prospect they are about to call. I digress.
I prefer doing it on a deal basis, this helps me categorize based on buyers objectives, most professionals and people running a business will tend to have objectives, and approached the right way, are interested in things that help them achieve objectives, or avoid things that may hamper their progress, and will act to remove those barriers. A lack of clear objectives is a sure clue to a less than committed buyer, a longer sales cycle if it happens at all, or usually not a good use of time.
As with most things in sales, it is less about the tools and more about the mindset and the discipline to do it, and do it consistently. So go ahead, profile, your buyers don’t care as long as it helps them in the end.
What’s in Your Pipeline?