It depends on how you want to sell.
If you want to sell by talking someone into buying, “interested” is an opportunity to try to do just that. Interested doesn’t mean that they are likely to buy from you. It only means you have someone who will probably listen to you while you talk.
If you want to sell by finding someone who is likely to buy, then “interested” is an opportunity to do some finding out. Find out what is behind that interest. It may mean that the interested person is close to making a purchase decision and wants some information, or it may only mean that the interested person wants to be educated.
When I first started learning High Probability Selling, I was taught that “interested” was a poison word, something that salespeople should avoid. It means that a prospect is not ready to buy, and is likely to waste the salesperson’s time. I understood immediately what my teachers were talking about. I happen to be a person who is interested in just about everything, even when I have no interest in buying, and I began to feel some pity for the salesperson who encountered someone like me.
There is no need to avoid the word “interested” as long as you are clear about what it means for the way you choose to sell. Richard Himmer (one of my other teachers in HPS) made a useful distinction between Interested and Interesting. In High Probability Selling, the salesperson is the one who is interested, and the prospect is the one who is interesting. It’s usually the other way around for salespeople who want to try to influence the prospect to buy.
I am very interested in any comments you may have. You are all very interesting people.