Can a difficult lead be turned into a customer

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When faced with an easily convertible lead and a difficult lead which would you choose to work on first? Most people choose the easy one because let us be honest here, we are all searching for gratification and gratification comes from converting a lead into sales. According to Bain & Company, it costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. While customer prioritisation is a key factor that determines the conversion rate of your company, make sure you do not completely ignore the difficult leads who can possibly be converted with a little more effort. 

First, let us try and understand what makes a lead difficult. A difficult lead can complicate things by being overly demanding, objecting to company policies, or by asking for the impossible. Each difficult lead needs to be handled differently and the skills required to make that happen is not readily attainable. So, what is the secret? The secret is that there is no easy way out, no magical one for all solution except persistence, hard work and perseverance. Each client you meet teaches you something, your job is to make sure you observe and take note and most importantly never forget the lessons you learn because knowledge once acquired never leaves your side. The information you acquire can be used to offer personalised experiences for your customers as personalised experiences prompt over 40% CUSTOMERS TO INDULGE IN IMPULSE PURCHASES.

It is impossible to list out the characteristics of all the difficult leads that you would eventually face however, there are some recurring customer issues which if studied beforehand could give you some valuable tips that could potentially aid in converting those difficult leads. Let us take a look at some of these. 

The Customer with Budget Issues

These customers would agree with you on all the reasons why your product is the best, but they will quote budget issues as their reason for not wanting to take this conversation any further. How can you win over this customer? The key here is to find out more details about why the customer is resisting. The budget may not be the real problem here after all almost 86% of customers are ready to pay more for a better customer experience. The customer may think that your product is not worth spending that amount of money. In this case, calmly explain how your product could ultimately help your customer save time and money over the next few years.

To convince a customer with budget issues, make sure you have done your research on your competitors. Most customers would have done their research and they would be ready to quote the price of your competitor and question you on what makes your product better. Have an answer ready for this one but when you are answering a customer make sure that you tailor your response around the needs of your customer because everyone likes personalised answers.

Highly demanding Customer

These customers can be hard to handle and even if you manage to satisfy them once they will be back with more unreasonable requests. After listening to their requests quickly weigh your options. Can the requests be fulfilled some way? If not, ask yourself how important this customer is and if you cannot afford to lose this one the first step is to suggest an alternative. Suggest a course of action by which your customer can get a result as near to their initial request as possible. 

With these customers, you must know when to stop. Some customers think that by being demanding they can get the maximum benefit for the money they spend. These customers are consistently unreasonable and when you spot one who fits this description make sure you let them know that there are limits to how far your offerings could go. It is highly likely that these kinds of customers would come to accept your reasoning if you could make them understand how unreasonable their demands are.

Quicker delivery expectation

The digital era has enhanced the instant gratification effect and most customers want what they want as soon as possible. A recent survey from Episerver of 700 business-to-business sellers found that 84 per cent believed failing to meet rising customer e-commerce expectations is among the top threats their businesses face in 2019 and beyond. 

Many customers still have reasonable delivery expectations but when their demands get too high to meet, you have a problem in your hands. When dealing with these customers, try to understand the reason behind their sense of urgency. Listen to them and then suggest the latest dates by which you could deliver. Politely explain why their demands cannot be met; instead of denying them outright take some time to explain the process and time involved in making the product or service available to your customer.

Unethical Customer

This one is a tough nut to crack. Keep in mind the fact that not all customers with unethical asks are doing it knowingly. If you find a customer asking you to do something unethical, make them understand why it cannot be done and what possible consequences could arise from it. If they still want you to do it, deny their demands.

If the customer is completely aware of the unethicality of his request, try to understand why they need it. If you could discover what they are trying to achieve through such a risky request, suggest legal ways of obtaining similar results. If the customer has no intention of relenting, then I am afraid this lead cannot become your customer. When the risk is too great it pays to play it safe so know when to let go.

Customers with no requirement at present

If you have been in this field for some time, you would most probably have come across the customer who you just cannot figure out. These customers ask vague questions but are never ready to commit. These customers are difficult to convert and there is no point in getting your hopes high.

These customers may not have any requirements at present but there is a possibility that they can be converted in the future. These leads may or may not translate into sales but keeping in touch with them would do no harm so be patient and nurture that relationship.


Not all customers can be dealt with in a formulaic way. Be ready to adapt and be quick on your feet, be confident in your product and exude that confidence to sway your customers. The secret here is that there are no secrets and all that you need can be learned through experience if you are willing to observe and learn from your observations.


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