If you are working on prospects that aren’t right for your company (and it’s business model), that don’t value what you do (or how you do it), you are making a mistake. And you’re making a mistake that will cost you your sales results.

The reason that salespeople pursue prospects that should be disqualified is because they’re desperate. And nothing ruins your sales results like desperation.

Your Business Model

If your primary value proposition isn’t price, then selling to prospects to whom price is the most important factor is wrong.

First, if price isn’t how you create value (and it likely isn’t), then you aren’t the right choice for these prospects—even if you can win their business. Second, and more important still, you destroy your business model by trying to serve clients that are unwilling to leave you enough profit to serve them well.

It costs you time and energy better spent on your dream clients. And should you win these prospects, you either damage your company’s business model and reputation by underserving them (since they are unprofitable) or you disappoint them.

If you are chasing prospects outside of your model, it’s because you are desperate. If you are desperate, it’s because you need to spend more time prospecting. You can’t protect and execute your business model if you are desperate.

They Don’t Perceive Value

There are some prospects for whom what you do—and how you do it—doesn’t create value. It may not have anything to do with price or your business model. You can spend a lot of time working on prospects that don’t value what you do, but it won’t make your number go up.

When salespeople struggle to build their pipeline, and they decide their efforts would be better spent on some new vertical who might adopt what they sell—even though no one in that vertical buys any of what they sell presently. They try selling to people who don’t already buy what they sell. And the reason that these “prospects” don’t buy is that they don’t perceive value.

If any of the “prospects” in your pipeline don’t presently buy what you sell, you want to rethink your plan.

If you are chasing prospects that don’t perceive value in what you do, it’s because you are desperate. And if you are desperate, it’s because you need to spend more time prospecting. The fastest path to producing sales results is by calling on clients that already value what you sell, even if they are the most difficult with whom to open new opportunities.

The Last Word

To a starving man, anything looks like a meal. When you are desperate, everybody looks like a prospect. Your time is better spent prospecting, learning to open relationships, and pursuing deals with your real dream clients.


When you get desperate, do you lower your standards?

Have you ever arguing that you should win an account that really isn’t right for your company?

Have you ever tried selling to prospects that don’t already buy what you sell because you thought it would be easier? That they wouldn’t all already have suppliers?

How do you prevent from becoming desperate?

Sales 2012
Post by Anthony Iannarino on November 29, 2012
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
salescall-planner-ebook-v3-1-cover (1)