How To Avoid and Deal With Tire Kickers

By Brian Pho | December 3, 2021 | Industry Trends

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For decades, the term “Tire Kickers” has been thrown around in sales. How do we define them? Tire kickers spend time inquiring about your services but are not serious about buying your product. The term Tire Kicker comes from the analogy of someone feeling the tires on a car before buying it. These people window-shop or pretend to be interested in what you have to offer but won’t buy anything from you. In the end, they waste your limited amount of time. In this article we’ll talk about how to avoid tire kickers and why they’re important.

Why Are Tire Kickers Important in Recruiting? Client side.


There has been an explosion of hiring within the last month. However, not all clients can be good clients. Eventually, you will run into “Tire kickers.” They will contact you about a recruitment requisition (or a potential job opening), inquire about a quote, and let you work on developing a shortlist for the role. In the end, they end up being super picky on who they want, and the search drags on for 6+ months, or they end up not hiring anyone at all. It is essential to identify quality prospects and avoid the prospects that will waste your time.

There seems to be no sense of urgency (pain point). It is important to recognize which clients are tire kickers and which ones will eventually close when developing new clients. As a sales professional, remember that your time is limited, and you should focus on the prospects that will lead you to a close.

Tire Kickers in Recruitment? They also exist when developing Candidates into Prospects.


Tire Kickers not only happen with prospective clients but they can also be recognized on the candidate side. This usually happens with senior candidates at the management level. Sometimes recruiters call them ‘Passive Candidates’ – however, if the candidate is too passive with no real motivation to change, you can also waste a lot of time with them. As recruiters, it is important to truly identify the real reason why candidates want to make a switch from their existing organization. Compensation and money are usually the worst indicators of why a candidate is looking to leave a particular organization, leading to counter offers with their current company. If this motivation cannot be identified, it will be hard to close the candidate when an offer is presented.

If you want to learn how to avoid tire kickers in sales and recruitment, please contact me.

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