I explained all the different reasons why people waste their time talking to the “wrong” prospect, just to end up faced with objections and basically end up setting yourself up for failure.
If you missed that and don’t feel like reading the other post, let me quickly break it down for you (but be aware, it might hurt!):
Your prospects are not turning you down because your offer is too expensive, or is not good enough for their needs.
They’re turning you down because
THEY ARE NOT THAT INTO YOU!
Ouch! I know, right?
Don’t take it personally! Like I said many times, selling is just like dating. You have some people that you connect with on a deep level, and other people that are just “not your type” - they just don’t fit.
So how do you know if a prospect is “good enough to date”?
I get it, this might sound weird!
In the sales world, this is what we call the qualification process, which basically means asking specific questions in order to qualify the prospect and make sure that they’re a good fit to work with you.
I have 2+ decades of sales experience, in a few different industries - travel, medical, insurance, car sales, oil and gas, advertising, consulting. When I com pare sales to dating, and say that this qualification process is a game changer, I’m speaking from experience - you have no idea how many times I wasted my time, talking to the “wrong” potential client, just to get pissed off at the end when they did not buy.
Here is an example: I was selling a YouTube Ads course over zoom calls (high ticket, $5k product). At first I was talking to anyone who wanted to jump on a call with me. My calendar was full and I would do, like 5-6 calls per day. Total investment in the time: ~ 30-40h per week. And my closing ratio was like 15% - nothing to write home about. I implemented a qualification process (meaning that before they can book a call with me they would have to meet a specific cri teria) my calls dropped to 3-4 calls per day (there was a reduction in volume of calls for sure) but my closing ratio went up to 80%. I did $50k in sales in a month, compared to doing like $15k per month without any qualification. Now you tell me, which one is better - working more for less money, or working less and making more?
So you decide, but I’m telling you these tips are gonna save you time and make you money!
Ok, so what are the questions specifically?
- What is the nature/niche of their
business? Finding out details about their business is important because some businesses are just harder to get results in then others. For example in advertising, if you work for Coca Cola and running a campaign that gives the company exposure (showing their ad to as many people as possible), it is an easier job then running a campaign for a small ecommerce company who will want actual sales at the end of the day. If I had a choice I would want to work with Coca Cola - it is easier to do and they have a bigger budget to spend on advertising. So in your business you need to make a decision of what would be the ideal client you want to work with and stick to it. If the prospect is telling you that they do something you have no experience doing - don’t continue talking to them. Even if they become your client it will end in a very difficult relationship and probably failure in delivering them what they expect.
This can be a tricky question, because most of the people get touchy when it comes to talking about money. Or we think they do. I actually believe that most sales people are uncomfortable asking this question, not their clients. Most of the time I find that when you ask this, it shows a sort of an expertise on your part - as in, maybe you work only with businesses of certain revenue. and not beginners. This puts the prospect on defensive - almost like they have to qualify to work with you, not the other way around. Which is great! That is how you want them to feel.
Basically, if a prospect is serious about working with you, they’ll understand this and answer it without hesitation. If they are hesitating, it is a huge red flag - in 99% of the time you should cut the conversa tion short and move on.
How much are they willing to invest in X (fill in the product or service you’re offering)?
Similarly to the revenue question, this question will be a guide for you in deciding what kind of offer you can pitch this client: your normal service, a downsell or an upsell
Hope this helps - Alex