When it comes to marketing and sales, coming off as opportunistic is one way a prospect can hand you a death sentence. And often times, it’s the defining trait of the pushy salesman stereotype (which in turn is still a primary reason for why you don’t generate that many software sales leads).
And yet, why is it that these same sales leads are still regarded as high value opportunities that are worth pursuing? Is it really possible for you to compel a buying decision without necessarily looking like an opportunist?
Okay, it would help if you had a comprehensive understanding of how an opportunist acts. Below is a quick list of details that you can then compare both to your sales and lead generators:
- Questionable ethics – Is there little respect for a prospect’s privacy? Are you honest about where you got their email address or phone number? A clear sign of an opportunistic organization is one that simply takes information without properly evaluating the legitimacy of its use.
- Punishment and exploitation – Yes, you’re reading that right. Sales reps can actually do commit these two sins when approaching prospects with problems. One, is when they call in during a time of crisis. Two, is when they use said crisis to push for a sale. There are better times to pursue a lead than when a prospect organization is at its most vulnerable.
- Lack of transparency – Finally, an opportunist has a knee-jerk reaction to cutting off opportunities as much as pursuing them. Are you refraining from answering questions fairly when they might cost you a sale? Hiding the real cost behind your offers can lose you the trust needed to actually win the sale without long-term consequences.
This is something you should really think carefully about because even the high-rollers of the tech industry aren’t shy about accusing each other of opportunism in one form or another. A recent case is Apple’s own Tim Cook writing a letter that is a not-so-subtle slap in the face of Google’s own business model. In an ideal world, going after leads with honest intentions, at the right time, and open dialogue is considered a valid pursuit of opportunity. But in reality, you have to make sure it stays that way and see where it can devolve into crass opportunism.