Qualifying before you get there--before you begin the conversation with the prospect--is an easy but overlooked part of the sales process. Everyone wants to know, "What secret techniques do you use to get them to buy?" when you've got them on the phone or are sitting in front of them; however, you're really starting too late in the process if this is your focus. In fact, there are several key things we can do prior to prospecting. These will help ensure we're talking to people who truly need our help. They'll also smooth out some of the bumps in the sales road we likely would have otherwise encountered later.
Qualifying Before You Get There: How To
Trainer Jack Daly has some great recommendations to get a powerful headstart on your prospecting and qualifying processes. The first thing I want you to notice is his system of creating a five column list of potential customers. Who are these potential customers? A straightforward way of figuring out who you should be focusing on speaking with was covered in my last entry.
Column #1: List your potential key accounts down the left side.
Column #2: Account status, and prospecting activity to it over the past 90 days (this is arbitrary, in my opinion: it could be 30, 60 or 90 days as you please).
Column #3: Hurdles blocking you from winning the sale. Then analyze how you can overcome these.
Column #4: Timeline of events for achieving the win.
Column #5: Assignment of action steps to individuals to hit the timeline targets.
Now I will share with you that while the process of making this little spreadsheet and qualifying before you get there is not difficult, very few people actually do it. But don't you believe you'd have a much better chance of closing a sale if you had a roadmap to getting there and a deadline for doing so?
Edison said There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking. How many of us are guilty of this?
Mapping Out the Road Trip: Qualifying Before You Get There
So we can leave our prospecting and qualifying activities in the dark, or we can think and clear them up. What position would you rather be in?
Daly's next suggestion is to apply the same process to key accounts you already have. How can you get an increasing flow of business through these existing clients?
Again, we are taking out the guesswork. If we don't know something, we now are aware of what question we need answered...before we ever speak to the prospect.
Qualifying before you get there is accomplished by determining in advance which questions you need answered. Sounds simple, but hardly anybody does it. Imagine how much time this would save you. Instead of fumbling around in the dark with disjointed questions, trying to latch onto some pain point or other, you go straight for the jugular.
Either they're In, or they're Out. Either they have this key problem or they don't. Either they have an opportunity to work together that's in alignment with your goals and methods or they don't. Ultra fast. Razor sharp. Crystal clear.
You can be qualifying before you get there. Or you can continue to prospect and then qualify, in a slow, stumbling manner. Your choice.
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