You cannot afford to waste your time with prospects that will not become your customers. Your time is too valuable! All prospects are not the same. The sooner you know who is good and who isn’t, the better off you will be.

By getting answers to these four questions, you’ll also help turn them into better customers by offering them more value. Too many salespeople wait too long to get answers to these questions and it leads to having a pipeline that’s essentially a sewer line. What I mean by this is that the prospects in their pipeline are only doing one thing: plugging things up.

Check out my 2-minute video on these 4 questions!

So, here’s the first question: is the prospect asking you great questions? If all they are doing is listening and not asking you anything, it’s hard to know if they are really interested. A customer will show that are engaged by asking questions. The more engaged and the more motivated they are, the better the questions they will ask you. Too many salespeople waste time with prospects who just want to learn something. That kind of prospect is only choosing to listen to you, because they have a need and unfortunately their need isn’t to buy anything from you. I hate to say this, but sometimes their need is to get your information in order to gain more leverage to negotiate a better deal with their current supplier.

Next question is: do they have a need that you can help them with? This sounds basic, but the key for you is to build on their need. This can be done by simply asking them questions and then asking follow-up questions on what they share. Just let them talk. Remember that the good insights are not going to come out right away. It probably won’t be until after your second or third question that really good information will unfold.

The third question is: do they have a timeline for making a decision? The prospect might have a need but if they aren’t in a position to make a decision right then, do you really want to focus on them? Most likely, no! Your time is valuable. You don’t have to discard the prospect, and you certainly want to give them a reason to buy now, but let’s not kid ourselves: if the customer’s timeline can’t be changed then the only thing you’re doing is wasting your time.

The final question is: do they have the money? I’m not tell you to directly ask them that, but I am saying that you have to be willing to probe quickly. This is why I like to ask, “how have you made decisions like this before?” With that question, I am looking for them to bring up how cost is a key part of their decision making process. Don’t think what the prospect shares is absolute truth because every decision is different, but I will take what they say and use it to help with my follow-up questions.

The sooner you have answers to these questions, the sooner you will be able to determine the prospect’s value and how much of your time you should devote to them.

I encourage you to download my latest prospecting ebook that deals with how to send a great prospect email. With this ebook, you’ll also be able to gain access to a free 14-day trial to Salesgenie which is a helpful tool for finding great leads to prospect.

Don’t forget to also watch my 2-minute video on these 4 questions!

Copyright 2019, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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