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Curious, serious or a waste of time?


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Learning to qualify at the beginning of the sales process is one of the biggest challenges salespeople and business owners face today. Learning how to properly qualify a sales lead can be the difference between closing a sale effortlessly or chasing an opportunity that’s dead before it even starts. 

Some people fall into the habit of believing that everyone at arm’s reach is a potential client. They think that everyone wants and needs what they’re selling.  This is a dangerous mindset because all prospects are not created equal.

Closing sales and growing a business isn’t about selling to everyone; it’s about selling to everyone who is a “qualified” prospect. The responsibility of qualification falls on the shoulders of the salesperson. Maintaining control of the sales conversation and asking the right questions can quickly weed out prospects that are just mildly curious, truly serious or no potential at all. It’s up to you to find out and the sooner you do the better.

Many salespeople do little or no qualifying. Some don’t feel comfortable taking control of the sales process right from the beginning (which is critical in qualifying). Some are reluctant to qualify customers because they don’t want to walk away and move on. Lastly, some don’t bother to qualify because they see everyone as a buyer.

Qualifying is easy if your prospects meet these key factors:

A need - A qualified prospect needs your product now or relatively soon. It’s up to you to ask questions relevant to that need, uncover their pains, problems and issues around fixing that need and find out if they’re serious or curious.  Serious people are ready to fix their problems. Curious people enjoy talking about their problems with no intention of fixing them.

A sufficient budget. A qualified prospect has the money to buy your product or service. Don't waste time pursuing someone who truly can't afford to buy what you sell. If they only have $500 to fix a $5,000 problem, you must walk away. It’s not a fit. Suggest other options but pursing this type of sale wastes your time, money and energy.

The authority to buy. A strong lead and qualified prospect is empowered and prepared to take action. They’re ready to go from just interested in your product or service to invested in your solutions. 

Without all three of these factors a sale is not likely to take place. There will always be people who are interested in what you do and sell. Your job is to qualify the people who will become invested in your solutions.  

Qualifying prospects is critical to sales success. It helps you stay on target and use your time wisely. When you ask great questions to find qualified buyers, you avoid wasting time, energy and money with people who were never going to buy in the first place. You’ll feel more satisfied, because you’ll close more sales from truly qualified and serious prospects. Create your sales process around this concept and you’ll be ahead of the game and the competition.

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Liz Wendling

Liz Wendling is a nationally recognized business consultant, sales strategist and emotional intelligence coach. Straightforward, practical and sassy, Liz’s innate gift is helping professionals transform their sales approach and evolve their sales strategies. Liz shows people how to discover their sales comfort zone and master the skill that pays you and your business forever.

Liz believes people need to stop following the masses and start standing out and differentiating themselves. Her super powers are designing customized solutions that deliver outstanding results. She enjoys working with professionals who are committed to kicking up the dust, rattling some chains and rocking the foundation of their business.

Go to: www.lizwendling.com or email Liz@lizwendling.com

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