The Truth Behind Uninterested Leads
April 20, 2022
Uninterested leads can be frustrating for sales and marketing teams alike. After all, you’ve made the effort to plan out a lead generation campaign, worked hard on the content, and generated an impressive list of leads—only to discover that many of them just aren’t interested. If at this point you tend to throw in the towel and move on to more promising prospects, it may be time to rethink your approach. While it’s understandable that many companies see apathetic leads as a waste of further time and effort, they could be missing out.
What Does “Uninterested” Mean?
If you’re of the mindset that moving on straight away is the best method to deal with uninterested leads, here’s the truth: uninterested leads might not want or need what you offer right now, but it doesn’t mean they won’t want and need your products or services in the future. Behind the assertion that they’re “not interested” is a plethora of alternative possibilities.
Maybe They’re Still in the Research Stage
B2B prospects have usually conducted 57-70% of their solutions research before they even reach out to you—gone are the days when buyers waited for sales reps to contact them with offers. With so much information available digitally, prospects are savvier when it comes to independent research. When you reach out to them during this phase, they may not be ready to commit to any single solution or possibly have another solutions provider in mind already.
“Not interested” in this case could mean that the prospect isn’t yet ready to make a firm decision, which can conflict with a sales team who are pushing to close the deal. However, all is not lost. Even if the prospect has zeroed in on a competitor’s solution, they still haven’t put all their eggs in one basket. This presents you an opportunity to convince them that your products or services are right for them—it’ll just take some extra finessing to persuade them.
Maybe They Don’t See You as a Fit for Their Requirements
You might have the best solution available for your prospect’s needs, which on the surface of things, ticks all their boxes. So, what’s the deal? Even if you’re a seemingly perfect match, it’s entirely possible that something about your offering doesn’t fit your prospect’s specific requirements. Often, this is budget-related. Perhaps your product or service is too expensive for their business size, meaning that the budget allocated for a solution such as yours is too small.
Sometimes the opposite is true—your product or service isn’t robust enough for their business, in terms of budget or scale. Or perhaps it’s simply missing a key component that’s essential for them. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t mean your offering is bad—it’s just lacking a requirement that’s uniquely important to your prospect.
Maybe They Don’t Yet Know What They Need
It’s also possible that the lead or prospect you reached out to isn’t doing any research at all—and might not even be in-market. They may be perfectly content with whatever they have in place now. In this case, your efforts to woo them can go one of two ways. On the one hand, you have the chance to demonstrate that your product or service can improve upon their current solution. On the other, your efforts may be wasted, as your prospect doesn’t yet have a problem for you to solve.
This challenge is more common if your offering is new to the market. In these instances, take the opportunity to educate potential buyers about why your solution is worth investing in. Even for a company that’s totally satisfied with their current portfolio of products and services, there’s still an opportunity for education about brand new solutions—just ensure you prioritize your leads wisely, and don’t invest too much time in a relatively cold prospect.
Maybe You’re Talking to the Wrong Person
If ever there was a case for lead qualification, this would be it. A company could absolutely need what you have to offer—they could even have the budget for it and want it right now—but if you’re talking to the wrong person, you’re not going to close the sale. Companies generally have several different stakeholders in the B2B purchasing process, and it can be tricky to know which decision-maker is the relevant one for your business. Just because the person on the end of the phone isn’t interested in what you have to offer, doesn’t necessarily mean that the business they work for doesn’t have a need for your products or services.
If you take their lack of interest at face value, then you risk losing out on an opportunity to connect with the right person. If it’s not yet a part of your sales process, ensure your sales team is trained to ask if there’s someone else in the company that they can talk to—encourage them to ask for a decision-maker within the relevant department.
Maybe You Caught Them at a Bad Time
There are many occasions where it’s simply not a good time to be contacting someone. If a prospect is enjoying some downtime, is particularly busy with work, or traveling, for example, then they’re not going to be as willing to give you their full attention. The chance of a sale may still be there, it’s just that your sales team reached out at a bad time.
Rather than let the opportunity slide, do everything in your power to ensure that your sales team conducts their calls at more opportune moments. Failing that—given that sometimes people just aren’t ready to discuss anything via phone or email—make sure that training is in place to secure effective rescheduling to potentially close the opportunity further down the line.
Better Ways to Deal with Uninterested Leads
As the old saying goes, “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” When you first contact a lead that tells you they’re not interested, you aren’t going to immediately know why. That’s why it’s important to train your sales teams to dig deeper in a constructive way. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for this, but there are a few common points to consider.
First, don’t be pushy. Avoid bluntly asking why your lead isn’t interested—in most cases it feels like an invasion of privacy and can quickly alienate your prospects. Second, empathy and approachability are key. Rather than going straight to the “why,” acknowledge that although this offer may not be able to help them right now, you may have other suitable proposals for them. If they’re receptive, take this opportunity to sneak in a short elevator pitch of other relevant products and services you provide.
This line of inquiry generally opens the possibility of further conversation—or at least piques the interest of a previously uninterested buyer. If your prospects do give you a specific reason for their lack of interest, the following counter options can be helpful:
Offer Suitable Alternatives
This applies when a prospect states your solution is too expensive or too big/small to fit their needs. If you have different pricing or scalability options to offer that may be a better match for your prospect, then let them know. This requires extensive knowledge of your company’s current offers so make sure your sales teams are up to speed. If there’s some flexibility that can be offered with your products or services, make sure to mention this too.
Look for the Right Connection
This counter is applicable in most cases of objection or lack of interest, especially if your lead tells you that they’re unsure how your product or service can help their company. It never hurts to ask if you can be connected to someone within their company that might be interested. As we discussed earlier, it’s possible you’re just not talking to the right person, or even the right team.
Send Material Better Explaining Why Yours Is the Better Solution
If prospects tell you they have a system they’re happy with or have chosen a competitor, it never hurts to ask if you can send follow-up material that highlights your advantages. It’s better if this material has some hard evidence of your usefulness by way of case studies of your most successful customers. Sending follow-up material hands control back to your lead, reducing the risk of you seeming too aggressive, while still giving them an opportunity to consider what you have to offer.
Check Back in a Few Months
If you’ve tried everything and your prospect is sticking to their guns, there’s no harm in stepping back. Provided you weren’t pushy, approached them with empathy, and gathered as much important information as you could, you can call back in a few months. Preferably, you should do this at the end of their contract with a competitor, if applicable. Remember, they may not be interested right now but could be further down the line.
Don’t Let Go of Potential Customers
There are only two reasons to move on from an uninterested lead. One, they’re totally not qualified and don’t even fit your target audience. Two, they’ve already asked you to back off. Otherwise, they’re opportunities to sell like any other lead—you just need to understand the story behind “not interested” and react accordingly, with understanding and empathy. Want to hit the ground running with qualified leads that already fit your ideal target audience? Talk to us today to find out how DemandScience can bolster your pipeline with relevant, in-market buyers.