As we’ve written about previously, there are a lot of similarities between dating and sales. Both types of relationships require building trust and involve a lot of hard work to be successful.
Similarly, in both sales and dating, there are two types of ‘leads’ that are rare and golden: inbounds and referrals. In sales, inbounds are leads that do not come in from outgoing marketing campaigns; they may find you via search engines or social media. Referrals are self-explanatory, they are leads that have been referred by a third-party. The problem with inbound and referrals is that most companies don’t even know or have a process to deal with them.
In sales or dating, most of us aren’t lucky enough to get many inbounds. Unless you’re the attractive type (e.g. a professional athlete or Apple), inbound inquiries are usually far and few between. Because inbound leads are so rare, many people fumble them because they have ‘no game’ or no process in place to deal with these situations.
In sales, some companies are so clueless about how to handle inbound leads that they turn off their inbound marketing. From our perspective, this is equivalent to the average bachelor turning away a reoccurring bevy of female admirers. This simply does not make sense.
For both sales teams and bachelors, inbounds should not be overwhelming or complicated. They simply require a discerning disposition; when inbound leads come in, they need to be vetted to see who is worthy. Another thing to remember about inbound leads is that they aren’t always obvious. Just like in dating, you often get signs or subtle cues that let you know someone is interested, but how often do people come up to you and ask?