When you are in sales, you will meet all kinds of people- some are leads that will turn into final sales, some are potential customers, some are immediate customers, some are those who have a strong customer loyalty towards your business, and then there are also those who come, visit, inquire, show interest but that is the end of it.
Each business has such customers in which they invest a lot of their time and efforts, but at the end of it, come up empty-handed, with no increase in their net sales or in their net income. Such customers are termed as “tire kickers” in the world of sales.
Tire kickers are those that are a bad fit for both- your product as well as your services. They are those time-wasting sales leads that will just spoil the metrics of your sales process. This article is all about what is a tire kicker and how you can manage them.
What is a Tire Kicker?
A tire-kicker is a lead who is never going to buy what you are selling. Tire kicker is in reference to those people who visit a car dealership, kick the tires on a few vehicles to show their interest, only to then leave without ever buying.
Tire kickers are especially bad for your sales because:
- They waste your time, even while taking advantage of your professional knowledge.
- They throw off your sales KPIs along with your marketing KPIs.
- They prevent you from investing in more profitable activities and prospects like performance marketing, content marketing, email marketing, lead management, and so on.
- They drain your energy, demotivate you as well as bring no positive growth to your sales ratio.
Tire kickers hence are those that just enjoy checking out your products and services. They are those who cannot come to a buying decision even if they have a strong interest in buying your products or services.
Considering this, it is pretty likely for you to realize late that the one you thought was your potential customer is, in reality, a tire kicker just prolonging your sales cycle. It is, therefore, imperative to work on these two possibilities:
- Keeping the tire kickers out of your sales pipeline so that it can move forward successfully.
- Identifying the tire kickers who hold the potential to be converted into paying customers.
However, to check either of these two possibilities, it is essential to first spot the tire kickers. The next section of the article would be focusing on that.
How to Spot Tire Kickers?
It is crucial to spot tire kickers early on in the sales process so that you can save your time and effort. One of the most important things that will help you with that is tracking your average sales cycle and identifying your slow buyers. However, after identifying your slow buyers, you will then need some characteristics to know whether the prospect is your potential buyer or a tire kicker.
While these characteristics do not qualify your potential customer to be a tire kicker individually, the more of these characteristics that you see, the more likely they are to be a tire kicker.
Hence, the characteristics to be in look-out for spotting tire kickers are:
Waste Your Time
Leads unwilling or unable to make a purchase, asking lots of questions, haggling over the prices, and raising objections tend to be tire kickers. Excessive chitchat is, therefore, a vital giveaway behavior of a tire kicker. These are those kinds of chitchats that involve questions not only about your product and services but also about your personal life. While building relationships with the customers helps increase customer retention and encourage returning customers, these are those futile conversations that can keep you occupied for hours.
Does Not Fit Your Ideal Customer Profile
Knowing your company’s target buyer persona helps identify the tire kickers during the lead qualification process. This means that as soon as you realize that a prospect is not a good fit, you should move on and invest at places where you are sure of getting high returns on investment.
Lack of Research into the Sales Solution They Need
The lack of research into the sales solution that your lead is looking for suggests the lack of buying urgency or sincerity. Either of which does not give you assured sales or gross profits or even increasing sales, for that matter.
Cannot Afford What You Are Selling
A tire-kicker tends to get the lowest price possible even when they have no intention of buying. In addition to this, their budget tends not to be accommodated for the sales solution you are offering. Sometimes, a questionable lead does not even know the cost of the product or service that they are after.
Key Differences Between the Tire Kickers and Potential Customers
While the characteristics discussed above do give you a good idea of how to identify tire kickers, what is also true is that some of your potential customers are simply taking a long time to make a buying decision as they are scared of making the wrong decision.
This table of differences will help you ensure that you do not accidentally remove potential customers from your sales pipeline when all they needed was a little more nudging to make their purchase.
How to Manage Tire Kickers?
As soon as you have identified that the prospect you are working with is bad, it would be best if you got them out of your pipeline as quickly as possible so that you can focus on more promising sales opportunities. This means that your salesperson or sales representative will have to learn to say the very hard yes/no in a manner that does not affect your brand image as formed in accordance to your brand positioning statement.
Some of the diplomatic examples for the same are:
Scene 1: If your prospect is taking control of every sales conversation
Your diplomatic reply: “Considering our lack of progress in resolving your problem, this might not be a correct time for us to work together.”
Preparations before you reply: Before each interaction with your prospect, you need to have your agenda ready, outlining your next step in the sales process. This agenda can be like getting to know their budget or scheduling a sales presentation for them, should be informed to the prospect firmly.
Dealing with such a scenario in the following manner will dissuade the tire kickers from eating up your time and help limit your conversations. It might even stop the time-wasting conversation entirely with a promise from your end to take a follow-up in the future.
Scene 2: If your prospect is not moving forward in your sales cycle
Your diplomatic reply: “I do not wish to waste any more of your valuable time if I am unable to help you.”
Preparations before you reply: You should ask your prospect to fill out a form that aims at understanding their buying needs- their problem, the changes they want to make, their budget, timeline, and experience with past and present suppliers. Prospects who are more willing to fill this up would be the more serious ones as they know the form would take them closer to getting a solution. On the other hand, Tire kickers would not be keen on filling up the form at all.
Scene 3: Your prospect is not able or willing to afford your product.
Your diplomatic reply: “Considering the budget that you have shared with us, we do not believe that our product is a right fit for your needs.”
Preparations before you reply: Whenever you have a bad prospect inquiring about your product or services, the best thing to do is guide them towards economical options or free tools and resources such that it tides them for a short while. This means that when their purchasing power or pain point increases, it is your product or services that they will come looking for. This way, you would have secured future revenue for your company.
Can the Tire Kickers be Converted into Your Customers?
While this is a question that might have bugged you throughout this article, the one true answer is that it depends on the tire kicker’s motives. This is because even the most talented sales representative would not be able to do anything if the tire kicker cannot afford your product or services financially.
On the other hand, some prospects might be tire kickers simply because the timing for purchasing feels off to them, or they are afraid to make the wrong choice. In both cases, all that is needed is proper nudging and convincing by you or your sales team. Giving them confidence in their purchasing decision as well as in your products and services is what will make them convert into your customers.
The best way to make sure that the conversion has the highest possibility of taking place is by following these sales strategies:
- Offer only one product to the tire kicker so that they do not get confused by having freedom of choice.
- Emphasis on the profits that the tire kicker will have as consumers. Show them how the prices are lucrative for them. If you are offering a discount to them, create a sense of urgency by highlighting how it is a limited-time offer and how they will have to pay more later if they do not buy now.
- Lastly, show them how what you are offering is the best quality and at the top of its class and how it is widely demanded. This will help in winning their trust and removing any purchasing reservations they might have.
If you are dealing with another business, then your strategy should be along the lines of a single, best-fit option with a simple cost-benefit analysis that focuses on how your product or services can:
- Increase their profit margin
- Improve their reputation in the marketplace
- Help them in establishing a competitive edge.
These strategies focus on highlighting the scarcity and demand of the product while also creating an urgency for carrying out the purchase.
However, one thing that needs to be remembered is that the probability of converting a tire kicker into your customer tends to be low. If the above-discussed strategy fails, then you should stop investing your time in the concerned prospect who is a tire kicker for your business.
How Can Deskera Help Your Business in Managing Sales?
Deskera is an all-in-one software whose CRM+ software is one of its kind. It is easy to use, accessible across all signed-in devices, and powerful. Deskera CRM and Deskera CRM+ facilitate contact and deal management, personalization of sales pipeline, management of email marketing campaigns, and regulation of customer support, to mention a few.
The CRM+ dashboard is updated in real-time, helping in tracking and analyzing all your sales metrics and monitoring your sales. This will aid in planning your next course of action better. These insights are helpful to your sales representatives, customer success manager, marketing managers, board of directors, and you- the business owner.
Through Deskera CRM, you would be able to import all your contacts and their history on one platform, hence allowing you to manage them better. This data is also useful when you want to undertake several marketing campaigns, especially on a one-to-one basis. In the ongoing trend of digitized marketing, it is the landing pages that are in vogue.
Deskera CRM+ has an entire section dedicated to designing, publishing, and tracking of landing pages and landing pages’ performance. It is this section that makes the software even more special as compared to others.
Lastly, your CRM software will also help set up reminders for the important activities, which increases the efficiency of your business activities and assists in serving your customers better. For example, when your email is integrated with Deskera- your response time would become faster, or when you have your day planned in a calendar on Deskera, it will increase your productivity.
We recommend you try all these features for yourself and see how they will be a great asset to your business.
Tire kickers would never make their identity obvious, and it is hence the responsibility of your sales team to keep an eye out for them. One of the best ways to do so is by creating a better end-to-end sales process so that your sales team has the support of the essential tools, records, metrics, and analysis to help move your deals forward as well as ensure quick removal of the tire kickers from your sales pipeline.
However, you are lucky for Deskera CRM+ software makes tracking of your sales easier, faster, and more accurate- hence ensuring optimized business performance.