How to identify tire kickers and close more deals

Cory Shrecengost
June 6, 2022
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Tire kickers. They’re a sales exec’s worst nightmare. They ask for meeting after meeting but the deal never seems to progress, let alone lead to a real sale.

In this blog, we’ll break down exactly what it means to be a tire kicker, and look at some strategies you can use to turn time-wasters into revenue.

What is a tire kicker?

A tire-kicker is someone who initially seems interested in making a purchase but never makes a buying decision. They’re the kind of prospect that engages with sales teams—asking questions, raising objections, and voicing opinions—all without committing to a deal.

The term gets its meaning from people that regularly visit dealerships in search of a new car, kick a few tires to show they’re interested, and leave without buying one. They might even take the car for a spin, but ultimately, they’re indecisive and will walk away without closing the deal.

The telltale signs you’re working with a tire kicker

If you’ve got a prospect that’s reluctant to take the next step and move a deal forward, you’ve likely encountered a tire kicker. But spotting one isn’t always easy. Here are some of the telltale signs you should look out for.

They waste your time

Have you ever had a call with a prospect—after months of organizing—only for them to go off on an unrelated tangent or stray far away from the agreed agenda?

If the answer is yes, you probably encountered a tire kicker.

When a conversation goes off track, it can be frustrating for sales teams and eat up a lot of time that’s better spent elsewhere. If you clearly outline the agenda for a call or meeting and the prospect takes control of the conversation, it can be difficult to make progress—and can be a sign that they’re wasting your time.

They can’t afford your services

Tire kickers often kick up a fuss over costs, which can be a sign that they’re not interested in buying your product, or simply can’t afford it in the first place.

Either way, if there isn’t a budget fit or the prospect doesn’t have the authority to make the purchase, it’s not worth dedicating your time or resources to chasing them and trying to close a sale.

They don’t know what they want

Prospective customers often have a general idea of what your business does and how it provides value. If they don’t, it can take much longer to educate them on your value proposition, which is time you could use to nurture more viable leads.

Gartner found that when buyers are considering a purchase‚ they spend only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers and 45% doing independent research. Tire kickers often do little research of their own, which makes them much harder to close than other, more qualified leads.

3 ways to help you deal with tire kickers

While converting tire kickers to customers isn’t easy, with the right sales process in place it’s certainly possible.

Here are a few things you can do to overcome their sales objections and put yourself in the best position to convert them into paying customers.

1. Score and qualify leads based on buyer intent

If you’re unsure if you’re dealing with a tire kicker, then scoring your prospects, matching them up with your buyer personas, and qualifying them based on buyer intent is a good place to start.

Try and steer your conversations towards their budget and probe them for buyer preparedness. There’s no harm in checking if they’re ready for purchase.

They might not need your services or be in a position to afford them now, but they might be in the future—so you can always follow up at a later date.

2. Automate tasks to free up time for sales reps

If you’re engaging with tire kickers regularly, the least you can do is automate a lot of the manual work that comes with dealing with them.

Sales isn’t just about selling, it’s also about operational efficiency. Any time saved from doing admin work means more time spent on useful activities like negotiating deals. And this is where sales automation comes in.

Sales automation uses software to automate, track, and optimize the sales cycle. It can be set up to connect with your existing CRM and typically includes forecasting, automatically recording customer interactions, pipeline management, and more. With automated workflows in place, you eliminate tedious tasks, target better prospects, and make things easier for your sales teams.

3. Eliminate friction in your sales process

It’ll come as no surprise that traditional sales cycles take far too long.

A slow sales cycle is inconvenient for your customers, as every extra touchpoint you create means another chance for the deal to fall through. This is especially true for tire kickers. They’re an impatient bunch, so your sales process needs to be simple, structured, and easy to navigate.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by implementing eSignatures into your sales workflows. eSignatures eliminate the need to print, sign, and scan any documents that are passed between you and prospects—and all this can be done within your CRM.

With the ability to digitally sign instantly, you can cut out any unnecessary time spent sending, chasing, and confirming signatures. And with a frictionless sales process, you’ll benefit from weeding out the tire-kickers early—while making it easy to close deals with your more qualified prospects.

Build a better sales process

Time is money, so don’t let tire kickers take either away from your sales team.

Dropbox Sign plays a crucial role in an effective end-to-end sales process that gives you and your reps the tools to kick out the tire kickers and move deals forward, fast.

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