How to Disengage a Tire Kicker

How to Disengage a Tire KickerAbout a minute or two into a conversation with a trade show booth visitor, it’s usually pretty obvious whether or not this person has any interest in your company’s products or services.

Once you realize your spending your time with a “tire kicker”, how do you effectively and politely closing the conversation, so you can move on to prospects who are likely to result in real business?

While there’s no set formula to disengaging from every conversation, here are some transition techniques that are sure to help.

The Closing
Closing statements are a subtle way for you to wrap up the conversation and move on.

Try a closing statement such as:

  •  “Thanks for stopping by.”
  •  “It was really nice to speak with you.”
  •  “I hope you enjoy the rest of the show.”

The Assumption
This type of statement shows you are being mindful of their time as well. For example:

  •  “I appreciate your time, but I’ll let you get going as I am sure you have a lot more you still want to see.”
  •  “Thanks for taking time to speak with me today, I won’t keep you any longer.”

The Redirection
Sometimes disengaging someone is as simple as redirecting them to something or somewhere else. For example:

  • “Great speaking with you, here’s a brochure with some more information you may be interested in and my card if you ever need to get in touch.”
  • “Why don’t you go over and check out the demonstration showing here shortly? Then we can chat later if you have more questions.”

The Distraction
If you simply cannot get out of the conversation and all you hear is the clock ticking, try the distraction method.

  • “It was great meeting you, but please excuse me I have to (…)”
  • “I would love to speak with you more, but I have to (…) here’s my card, please feel free to touch base if you have any more questions.”

Regardless of which phrases you use to disengage a tire kicker, always be polite. Offer a handshake and always thank them for stopping by. They may not be a prospect now, but that could always change in the future and you certainly don’t want to leave a bad impression.

Peggy Swords

About Peggy Swords

Peggy Swords is the founder and president of Excalibur Exhibits, a $10 million Houston-based exhibit manufacturing and production corporation. Excalibur Exhibits designs, builds, delivers, assembles and disassembles as many as 300 exhibits per year. Swords was named as a finalist for NAWBO Houston 2003 Woman Business Owner of the Year and 2005 Enterprising Woman of the Year Finalist. Additionally, Excalibur Exhibits is a five time member of the Inc 5000, a three time member of the LSU100 and a two time member of the Houston Fast 100, a list of fastest growing privately held companies.