It’s always a good idea to treat prospects well: you don’t want to foreclose the possibility of another conversation or a referral.
Treat Prospects Well–Allow For Another Conversation
Treat prospects well, you always want to allow for the possibility of another conversation. This is especially the case in B2B markets where you are likely to run into them again. They may not remember you if you were polite and treated them professionally, but they are very likely never to forget you if you wasted their time or were unprofessional.
This is also important when talking to near misses: folks who are not prospects (or perhaps prospects today) but are close enough to real prospects that they may suggest your product to them if you are polite and helpful in your discovery conversation.
Niche Markets Are A Small Town
“Be nice. The world is a small town.”
Most of our clients operate in business to business niche markets where there are between roughly 500 to 10,000 possible customers. Some niches are smaller with perhaps a few hundred. This does not mean that there will only be a few hundred users (there may be hundreds of users just at one company) but it’s an indication of the size of prospect pool.
Popular Startup Marketing Techniques Will Make You Unpopular
I have a problem with some of the more popular startup marketing techniques that involve fake landing pages, surveys that offer no benefit to a prospect, and other techniques that simply waste a potential customer’s time without the possibility of offering them any benefit.
While I am not a fan of cold calling, if you are cold calling with an offer that you believe can help the prospect and that you can deliver on if the prospect expresses interest then this is at least potentially the beginning of a business relationship.
Treating prospects like you will never encounter them again is a poor idea, in particular when selling to businesses.
Related Blog Posts
- Cold Calling Won’t Find Your First Business Customer
- Peter Cohan: Differentiating Your Offers Starts With The First Contact
- How To Start a Warm Conversation About a Customer Problem
- Are You Generating iPod Fishbowl Leads?
- Purpose, Patience, Politeness, and Prudent Risk Taking
Photo Credit: Yulia Grogoryeva (licensed from 123RF 73064276)