5 questions to help you qualify your prospect

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

Have you ever walked onto a car showroom floor and immediately the salesperson starts showing you the latest models that are way above your budget and are not what you were looking for in the first place?

This high-pressure selling makes you instantly lose confidence in the salesperson. Emotion is a big part of buying and selling. One of the biggest emotions is fear. Fear that you will be ripped off. Fear that you will buy the wrong product or a product that is of inferior quality. Fear that you could have got a better deal elsewhere. Fear that once the salesperson has got your money, they won’t care a fig about you should something go wrong with your product.

When you have come up with a new product or service and wish to sell it to prospective customers, you need to qualify your leads upfront. It’s no use making a sales presentation only to find out that the potential buyer doesn’t need or want your product or can’t afford it.

Here are a list of five qualifying questions that will help you not only qualify a potential buyer but will save you time and in extreme cases avoid embarrassing yourself:

1 Does the prospective customer need my product or service? It’s important to find out the prospect’s needs. What has triggered their search? What value will the prospect gain from your product? What is the business case if you are selling to a business buyer?
2 Can my product or service meet the prospect’s needs? That sounds like an obvious question but many sellers overlook it. Will your product provide the best solution for the prospect?
3 Will the prospect be able to afford my product or service? It’s no use selling to a prospect who is broke or will only be able to afford your product in six months’ time. A simple “How much are you planning to spend?” question will help qualify budget.
4 Is the prospect the real decisionmaker, the right person? Wives decide on houses, for instance. You can’t sell only to the husband if the wife is the final decisionmaker. In B2B sales, if the prospect is not the decisionmaker, you won’t strike a deal.
5 How ready is the prospect to make a decision to own your product or service? If your lead only needs to buy at the end of the year, you will be wasting your time trying to convince them to buy now. A prospect with a car that has a seized engine is more than ready to buy.

These simple questions can help you eliminate non-starter prospects, put aside the cold ones for later follow-up when their needs may change and to identify your hot prospects.

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