For the majority of sales people, prospecting and qualifying have always been the least favorite aspects of their jobs.
In the blinkered rush, most sales people, with a new prospect, look purely for a quick sale and qualifying is often skimmed over. Salespeople end up spending time with the wrong people, upsetting a prospect and negatively impacting the effectiveness of the discussion, wasting both theirs and the prospects time.
Qualifying a prospect will make sure that you are not discussing a beautiful Harley Davidson, when the prospect doesn’t have a motorbike licence, and really just looking for a second hand scooter for their son or daughter.
You may be the best closer in the industry, have the gift of the gab, or know exactly when the customer is ready to buy, but without a prospect in front of you, and a steady pipeline for you to work with, all those sales development assets are useless.
Who is a prospect?
Absolutely everyone, until of course you have qualified them.
Qualifying Your Prospects
How can sales professionals qualify and select the right prospects with whom to spend their valuable time?
- Salespeople must have the right mindset to find and qualify the prospective client. I would recommend thinking like a physician, and asking questions to diagnose your customers situation. Using qualifying models like BANT (Budget, Authority, Needs & Time), ANUM (Authority, Need, Urgency, Money) and Hubspots latest GPCTBA/C&I, you can get a good flavour as to whether or not the prospect is qualified for your product and solution or you are wasting each others time. What makes a physician’s repertoire of questions so valuable is that it helps you focus on being able to get to the heart of the issue very quickly. Physician’s generally lead with the opening question, “Why are you here today?”, or “How can I help you today?”. Both questions are open ended and will get straight to the heart of the matter.
- Qualifying through research is also an excellent way of understanding your prospects. It builds an external profile, for example, size of company, industry, number of employees, structure, mission & what the company is about. Thus helping you to visualise how your products and services could fit. Although there is only so much researching your customers external profile can do for you and your ability to forge a new and lasting relationship with the prospect.
Qualifying a prospect does not guarantee you are going to get the sale, but it does guarantee that you will be more effective with your product or service placement.
If you would like to find out more on qualifying a lead, maybe some sample questioning around models like BANT or others, please contact me at email@example.com.
Yours in Sales & Service.