When you qualify prospects, you’ll better manage your time. You’ll also increase sales.
When you stop calling on people who aren’t going to buy, you’ll no longer waste time with those who are not interested in your products or services.
This allows you to redirect those meeting minutes to people who are more likely to purchase from you.
Calling only on qualified prospects really gets your sales churning!
Here are some tips for sharpening the “pre-qual” process.
8 ways to better qualify prospects when selling
1. Busy is not necessarily productive.
Take a good hard luck at how you spend your sales time and decide which activities generate revenue and which do not. Top sellers focus on being productive, not busy. Take time to qualify prospects early in the sales process to reduce your sales cycle and close more often,
2. Decide when you should NOT take a meeting and have the discipline to just say “no.”
Salespeople are pleasers so we like to accommodate.
“You want me to drive an hour to come talk about my business. Sure! What day is good for you?”
It’s better to decide on a basic pre-qual process that makes the prospect earn the privilege of a meeting with you. One easy way to qualify prospects is by the number of employees. Another is annual revenue. Read this article to better appreciate the difference between an early “yes” or early “no.”
3. Warm up your own leads before traveling to see the prospect.
The prospect is buying YOU, not your company and not your admin. YOU need to make contact and start the parade of touches. Send an email a week before your visit.
Call the prospect a few days before to confirm the appointment and get more information about his or her situation. Text the prospect when you are on your way.
You’re now three touches to the good in terms of closing the sale.
Pre-sell, prioritize and produce
4. Minimize no-shows and cancelled appointments by pre-selling.
Use the first three touches to “bait the hook.” Get prospects to show interest in some aspect of what you’re selling and they are less likely to cancel on you.
5. Use a rating system to prioritize prospects.
Many of my new sales coaching clients tell me that all prospects are equal and that there’s no particular order to following up.
This is a big mistake. At least have a guess at which prospect might mean more to you.
Prioritizing your sales calls is a fantastic way to make the most of what’s in your sales pipeline. Make prioritization an important part of how you qualify prospects.
6. Do forensic selling.
Use Internet searches and social media to learn more about prospects before contacting them. LinkedIn and Google searches are particularly helpful when doing forensic selling.
You’ll learn what topics are warm to your prospect and build rapport much more quickly, which shortens the sales cycle.
7. The magic cell phone number.
Obtain prospects and customers cell phone numbers as soon as you can. Sales relationships are often adversarial and usually conducted on business telephone lines. Friendships, on the other hand, are based in advocacy and play out on personal cell phones.
8. Cluster calling saves time.
When doing outbound calls, do a few of them at a time so you can take advantage of momentum. It’s easy to get distracted and not finish your calls if you’re doing lots of other things in between calls.
Put these eight tips to work for you and you’ll save tons of time and anguish during the selling process.
Want more help for you and your sales team?
Michael Angelo Caruso is a sales coach, author and keynote speaker. Check out his information products and online training menu.
Also, check out his YouTube channel for quick selling tips that will get your numbers up.