Warning, the red lights are flashing. Your prospects are not who they claim to be regardless of what they tell you.
Don’t get suckered into spending time with bad prospects.
Validate early, so you spend more time with fewer prospects. Here’s how…
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How many times have you spent time with a prospect who is engaging? They’re sharing information with you. They’re saying how brilliant, how wonderful, how thankful they are that you came on the scene. They act like they can hardly wait to buy from you.
The problem is they can’t buy from you. Why? Because they’re not empowered to make a decision. In fact, they don’t even have influence in making a decision. They’re just a warm, friendly face telling you what you want to hear.
It winds up filling up your pipeline and wasting valuable time. You’ve got to get them out of your pipeline.
Here are the 4 questions you need to ask:
1. How have you made decisions like this in the past?
Follow up with: Who else is typically involved?
This is absolutely critical because you’ve got to find out from them as to whether or not they have gone down this path before.
2. What budget is this going to come from?
Who controls that budget? Who’s got the money? In other words, you’re really cutting to the chase.
Why spend time with somebody who doesn’t have any kind of budget authority? Now, there is a risk that you can ask that question too early. I must make sure I understand what the need is first. However, if this person has shared the need, the desired outcome, go ahead and ask that money question.
3. Who else should I be talking to?
Who are the other people that we should be talking to regarding how this is going to work in your company?
I’m getting other people involved. Many times there are people who are excited to do business with you, but they’ll never introduce you to anybody else because their excitement is just in their own mind. It’s a delusion. The truth is they don’t even have the guts to get you involved with other people.
4. Identify if they’re a cheerleader, coach, or champion.
If you have a prospect that’s just excited, what you have is a cheerleader. You don’t need a cheerleader. You might even have a coach because they’ll tell you what to do.
When you spend time with cheerleaders, you’re going to feel good. You’re going to wind up putting stuff in your pipeline that shouldn’t be there, and then come the end of the quarter, it’s not even going to come close to closing.
The coach is the one who is always quick to tell you who to talk to, and what to do next. If they’re not even willing to make the introduction to you, all you have is a coach and a weak coach at that.
What you really want is a champion.
The person who believes in your product, believes in your service, believes in how it’s going to help, and they’re going to help knock down the doors to get you the money, the approval, to get everything through.
The last thing you want is to have somebody who is really excited about it, but when you get to procurement they say your price is 30% too high and there’s nobody who will go to bat for you.
You see, your prospects are not always who they claim to be. Validate early, so you spend more time with fewer prospects.
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Copyright 2023, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.