people pipeline resized 600Understand the Difference:

As sales professionals we come across these types of people all the time.  But knowing how to tell the difference between a so-called “Tire Kicker” and a “Window Shopper” is critical and will better help you to eliminate wasted effort.

A Tire Kicker is typically someone who thinks they want to buy something, when in reality they most likely will not, mainly because they can’t afford to make the purchase.  They usually spend their time finding things wrong with the product or service and will poke holes wherever they can.  I’m sure the phrase had come to fruition through frustrated car salesmen who knew all about these types. It’s the self proclaimed “buyer” who’s bored and has some free time on his hands, so now he wants to look at every Corvette, Porsche and Mercedes on the lot.  But in reality his funds are tied up in all these other areas: his kid’s college, his stainless steel kitchen, his retirement portfolio.  “Interest is the counterfeit of need.”  The Tire Kicker will never make a move, and I don’t blame him. When reason takes its course he’ll understand there’s no real compelling event or real urgency to drop that kind of money.

On the other side of the coin, we have our share of Window Shoppers, and to be honest, I like them.  Why?  Because I respect how mindful they are at being “thorough.”  They are at least realistically thinking about buying what you’re selling.  Maybe not right this second, but with some strategically landed nudges, they could be ready.  They are the ones who like their process to be smart and well thought out; they gather all the information they need before making any sort of promises or commitments.  They most likely will not just evaluate your company, but several.  This way, they know they’re making the right choice when it comes time to buy and won’t risk the chance of getting reprimanded by their superiors for implementing a product that doesn’t fulfill their needs.  So don’t drop the ball on these types of people, keep the lines of communication active. After all, they are a fan of what you offer and with time they very well may become active buyers.

Wasting Time or Keeping Your Pipeline Warm?

If you’re unsure if you’re wasting time or nurturing your prospects until the time is ready, ask yourself this:

What is compelling them to buy what I offer?

If you can’t answer this, then chances are you haven’t truly identified your prospects’ needs.  Try getting that prospect back on the phone and then reengage in a conversation that will dig a little deeper so you can accurately determine if they’re the tire kicker or the window shopper.  So take a second look at your pipeline and redefine who is worth spending extra time on and who is not.  Discard the folks who remind you of the person who looks at every sports car on the dealership’s lot and moves on.  Managing your time properly will only help you in attaining and surpassing goals that you’ve set or your company has set.