|Cherries, Greenies, Pits … and Hot Tamales|
Prospecting can be overwhelming if you’re good at it and in sales, you’d better be GREAT at it!
If you follow The Spaghetti Theory, then you’re a great success at prospecting and if you don’t have a good system to manage all those prospects, it can quickly become overwhelming and your pile of business cards will grow into a small ski hill.
Every person you meet should be qualified and categorized into a Cherry, a Greenie, a Pit or a Hot Tamale.
You could use any analogy you want we’re just classifying prospects into Hot, Medium, Cold and Ready to Buy categories for the purposes of efficient follow up. You need to know who to stay in front of the most (this is polishing our Cherries) and who to spend less time with, but keep dripping on (this is watering our Greenies to see if we can turn any into Cherries) and who we just don’t waste time on (the Pits, which are discarded). The Hot Tamales are those who are Ready To Buy and they’re in the process of signing a contract, making a payment, etc. Until they’ve signed on the dotted line or made their payment they don’t cross the border into “Clientdom”.
Here’s how to easily categorize your prospects in order to quickly and efficiently follow up with them:
Cherries – They’ve expressed an interest and they are financially qualified. They have a high potential of closing. This doesn’t mean that they will close this month or this year even, but they are seriously interested and and financially qualified.
Greenies – We’re not sure if they’re interested or financially qualified. They may be interested, but not financially qualified or they might be financially qualified but we’re not sure if they’re interested. With greenies we may not have all of the information we need, such as what are their biggest challenges and can we solve them with our products and services.
Pits – Just not interested or not financially qualified. I know, I know, its hard to toss away a lead, but just do it. If someone hasn’t expressed an interest in what you do – toss their card. Think about this. You have to water and fertilize the Greenies to turn them into Cherries and then polish the Cherries to turn them into a Hot Tamale and then they sign and pay and become a Client. Think about the time and effort you have to put into growing fruit from a pit!
Hot Tamales – A Hot Tamale is someone who is financially qualified, they’ve confirmed to buy.
If they haven’t said “yes” they’re a Cherry. If you’ve gotten a “yes” from anyone other than the decision maker, they’re still a Cherry. If the Decision Maker has to “think it over”, they’re a Cherry. If the Decision Maker has said “yes” they’re a Hot Tamale and its just a matter of collecting the money and signing the contract. This can be immediate or it can be a few months. Hot Tamales will stay in touch with you. These people have committed to doing business with you, they just need to put a few more pieces of their puzzle together.
If you use any kind of contact manager system that allows you to group your contacts, keep your prospects in these categories and you can save a lot of time marketing to these different groups. You can easily and effortlessly send targeted messages to each specific group. Successful people are organized people, so use this simple system of Cherries, Greenies, Pits and Hot Tamales.
Be sure you read the last paragraph of “Be Efficient with your Time…” in order to manage your time sending e-mails to Cherries and Greenies!!