Selling to qualified prospects

Screen your prospects. Get it?
Screen your prospects...get it?

Let’s talk selling.

Everyone wants to know the secret for making more sales with less effort.

Well, what if selling involved less persuasion, more trust-building?

What if you could screen prospects in or out quickly by asking unemotional, straightforward, questions that pinpoint whether they’re currently in the market for your solution.

Dan Collins posted some great thoughts on this. What’s important to note about the company he runs is that they’re in an extremely competitive space — selling to the promotional products industry — where sifting through real prospects matters greatly. They have little time to waste on people who are kicking tires, because there are plenty enough who are open to a conversation right now. So his points are credible.

Mike Sigers talked about working more with prospects, not just suspects a couple years back. Prospects are those who are known to be able to afford your product, need your product, and who could buy your product. Suspects are just, well, out there as possible customers…some day.

At Buzztime, our seasoned and professional sales reps have a system for qualifying incoming leads so that we’re only working with people who meet certain criteria.

Spending time with qualified prospects is the only way to go. Working overtime to convince the others that they want something they really don’t is a waste of your time and shows no real concern for the welfare of your employer.

If you want to enjoy your sales career, or build a business, with a high degree of self-confidence, achievement, income and personal fulfillment, work only with highly qualified sales prospects. In fact, here’s an overly simplified process you can go through to make sure you’re on track to work exclusively with qualified prospects.

1. Start with Knowing Your Ideal Customer
It starts with knowing what your ideal customer looks like. What are the B2B or B2C demographics? Why would they be in the market for your product or service in the first place — what problem do they want to solve? How much money are they accustomed to spending to solve the problem? Who usually makes the decision? There are a variety of questions you can ask yourself to pinpoint this.

2. Prepare a List of Introductory Questions
Then you need to figure out what you need to efficiently ask your leads or suspects up front, to screen them in or out. What initial questions get to the heart of the matter right off the bat, so you can decide with them if it even makes sense to dive deeper.

3. Hold Fast to Your Qualification Criteria
No matter what, stick to your criteria for selling to them. Don’t lower the bar to hit a number. You’re not doing yourself, or your account management team, any favors by squeezing a square peg into a round hole.

4. Then, and Only Then, Start Selling
Then you can start “selling.” By that, I mean start sharing relevant features and benefits of your product or service in a way that matters to the client’s needs and wants. Don’t run roughshod over them. Don’t interrupt them. Don’t monologue. Have a back-and-forth dialogue.

And if there’s a point at which the product doesn’t make sense. Don’t cram it down their throats. You’re not only wasting your time, you’re setting your team up for failure.

But you already know all this…right?

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