We constantly talk about leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities. What we forget in using these terms is that those are all associated with individuals, like you and me. And there are societal norms for how we treat others in our community:

1) We do not blast emails.

Imagine if, instead of saying I was going to “send my mother an email,” I said I was going to “blast my mother”. How rude! For me, Blast is the “b-word” and, as such, profanity. Treat your leads like you would a friend or relative and before you hit that “send” button, have a little respect.

2) We do not drop leads into our sales funnel.

So you’re at the park with your nephew and you’re playing on the jungle gym. You don’t drop your nephew. Similarly, you don’t drop leads into your funnel, because that would be painful for them. You nurture them along, encourage them, educate them, and wait until they’re ready to go to the next rung. People are not water balloons.

3) Gravity has nothing to do with it.

Another reason we don’t “drop” leads into our sales funnel is that gravity has nothing to do with it. Leads don’t naturally move from stage to stage or closer to a sale unless they have the information they need and the impetus to do so. You’re the tour guide…but that doesn’t mean your leads won’t wander off on their own unless you’re interesting.

4) We do not push leads along the funnel.

Sure, go ahead. Shove them around. See where that gets you. Resentment, I’d bet. Instead, act like you would as host of a party, and introduce leads to your sales reps when you think they might be interested in talking to each other. Think matchmaker, not playing sardines.

Even if you’re selling to buying committees or large institutions, you’re dealing with people. Treat them with the respect and courtesy they deserve.