False Positives

Here are some marketing indicators that you might take to be highly favorable, but in fact are not very promising:

• The buyer says very quickly in the initial conversation, “Sounds interesting, can you send a proposal?” (If you don’t have a trusting relationship and conceptual agreement, the buyer is just showing you the door, with false hopes.)
• The person you believe is the buyer says, “This is just what I wanted, let me take it to the board to be rubber stamped.” (This is NOT a buyer.)
• You’re told, “Normally, we can’t afford any initiative right now, but if you could do this for just a token fee, it would get you in the door when times are better.” (Are they paying the utility company, their employees, the clean-up crew? Why can’t they pay you?)
• The audience gives you solid top marks on the dumb smile sheets after your speech, but the buyer never calls you again. (You pleased the wrong people, stroked the wrong ego.)
• Someone tells you they “mention you to everyone they meet.” (The problem is that none of those people are buyers, and/or what’s being mentioned isn’t accurate.)
• You’re getting thousands of “hits” on your web site or blog, or your teleconference has 100 people signed, or your newsletter has 50 new subscriptions. (This is not a “numbers game,” but a quality game. You’re better off with 2 of the right “hits” than 200 of the wrong ones. Look at quality, not merely quantity.)
• You’re told that your proposal is the top priority for the next fiscal period. (If it’s so important, why can’t they start it now?)
• The buyer very much wants to follow-up, but is traveling or “out of the office,” or “with customers.” (The buyer doesn’t know how to use a phone or email?)
• Everyone tells you that you have great ideas and a wonderful approach. (Then why aren’t people buying??)

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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