There are many different ways to qualify prospects including online inquiry submission forms and assessment questions for first phone calls, email messages and meetings. Any of these methods will work, as long as you are able to gather the information that you need to determine if your prospect possesses all three of the following qualifiers:
If a prospect is located in an area that you service, finds your services interesting but doesn’t have the money to pay for them, your prospect is not a qualified lead. Conversely, if your prospect has the money to pay for your services but does not appreciate the value that they represent, your prospect is once again not a qualified lead.
The sooner you are able to qualify, the sooner you can focus your efforts on the most promising prospects in your sales pipeline.
Unfortunately, this all important qualifying step is frequently skipped. Why?
From the Heart Sales Training Blog sheds light on why we waste valuable time with prospects that will never buy:
…Some think they know what their prospect wants and needs without qualifying. Other sales people skip it because they don’t know how to qualify. Or maybe they don’t feel comfortable taking control of the sales process right from the beginning…
The second mistake… conditions for a prospect are not met, so they really have a suspect. However, they continue with the presentation and waste their time, energy, and credibility…
Another reason for a salesperson not qualifying a potential client is they are afraid they’ll hear the word “No”. It’s the most feared word for most sales people. However, the top producers want to get to the “No” as quickly as possible so they can get to a yes that much sooner…
Accountants, financial planners, consultants, lawyers, engineers, architects and interior designers all wear sales hats at one point or another. The key to streamlining the sales process for your professional practice is to accept the premise that your role as sales person is not to convince prospects to buy your services. It is instead to quickly sort through leads, identify those with the motivation, access and means to hire your professional services and focus selling efforts on them.
Doing so sooner would be better than later.
Photo credit (top): jasperroz
(h/t: Sales Accelerator Coach)