Sales Training: How to Qualify Your Prospect in Philadelphia PA

Qualifying Prospects

No matter how good your presentation, your service, or your product, you won’t close the deal if your prospect is NOT QUALIFIED. It is a simple and essential sales training point and can not be emphasized enough. There are 3 keys to having a qualified prospect and without ALL three in place you will ether get a “no sale” OR the even worse: “I’ll think about it”, “Call me back” or other versions of a time wasting stall.

Sales Training:The Three MUSTS of a Qualified Prospect in Philadelphia PA

  • 1. They need what you are selling
  • 2. They have the money and/or meet your financial qualifications
  • 3. They are the decision maker

Why are ALL three REQUIRED to close the sale?

First requirement: They need what you are selling because sales is about satisfying needs. If your product or service does not match and properly fulfill the prospect’s needs, you should not be spending a lot of time presenting or closing on them. Closing is actually easy when you know you are a good fit for the prospect. On the other hand, two of the things that give sales representatives a bad name are those in the profession that try to push an item on people that don’t really need it, or sell someone an item that did not meet expectations because it failed to solve the prospect’s issue.

If you understand your prospect’s needs, then value for what you are selling can be quickly established. The higher the perceived value, the more affordable your product becomes.

Second requirement: They have the money and/or meet your financial qualifications because we all need to get paid. If they can’t pay for the product, then the sale can’t be closed. You may make a wonderful presentation to someone that is genuinely interested, really likes what you have to offer and would benefit from all the attributes you presented, but if they are not financially qualified, we will ultimately be wasting our time.

Please note: a prospect that says, “I can’t afford it” and a prospect that can’t afford it are NOT the same. Many prospects that say “I can’t afford it” easily could if they saw the value, and many prospects that have no money are all to happy to spend lots of time chatting, looking and kicking the tires. Therefore, it is essential that you establish meaningful value with the prospects that can afford it and that you learn to figure out which prospects can’t afford it in order to better allocate your time.

Please be conservative here. Be polite and respectful of each individual you are serving. Sometimes the most financially-qualified prospects don’t look it and vice versa. In every sales training there are numerous examples of representatives that have run to help the prospect that was well dressed and drove a nice car but when it came to the credit application they learned the person was completely overextended.

On the other side of the coin, I received a great sales and customer service lesson while shopping with my dad. As a young boy I remember going into a high end clothing store with my dad who was dressed in just a t-shirt and old comfy jeans. The sales reps stood around chatting and no one wanted to come over and help since they were on the rotation system and wanted to wait and work with a “better qualified” prospect. Finally a representative came over, and to his surprise, made a very large sale. As he quickly learned my dad was traveling on business to Philadelphia, PA to make several sales presentations and his luggage was lost during the flight over. He had a week long series of sales meeting and needed several suits and everything to accompany them. So get to know your prospect by asking questions and exploring their needs rather than making visual assumptions. It is better to err toward being helpful as that will consistently reward you.

The third requirement for qualifying the prospect is: Speak with the Decision Maker. Sales representatives often desire to make a presentation so much that when someone gives them the opportunity and eagerly listens they give an all out presentation. When the “prospect” is not the decision-maker they are an info-gatherer. No matter how interested they are, all the details you shared will be significantly edited down. You can consistently bet that 90% of what you explained to the info-gather will not be shared with the actual decision-maker, and that what they do share will lack your passion and enthusiasm. Figure out if the person you are presenting to is an info-gatherer or a decision-maker.

What to do When Presenting to an Info-Gatherer Rather than a Decision-Maker

The reality is, many times your sales cycle will start with contact with an info-gatherer. I am not suggesting that you don’t speak to them or that you refuse to present to them. The key is to think like a sales superstar. What the top producer does is recognize their goal on each call and what the next step or closing objective is. With an info-gatherer, top sale producers use the meeting with the info-gatherer as recon to learn what might be important to the actual decision-maker. The sale they are looking to close on is selling the info-gatherer on introducing you to the decision-maker because so much value was established. When the info-gatherer brings value to the decision-maker and helps the decision-maker get their need met, everyone looks good. When you start closing the info-gatherers on moving you forward you will get much further into the sales process with their firm. Once you are meeting the actual decision-makers you will quickly see closing percentages increase.

Mark Anthony presents sales training programs in Philadelphia, PA as well as throughout the entire U.S.A. All programs are highly interactive and with over 25 years of experience quickly become customized to each clients unique situations and industry.