Stop Persuading and Start Selling: How to Qualify Your Clients

Their are a lot of salespeople that are confused about their roles as salespeople.  Salespeople do not exist to persuade, manipulate or pressure us to purchase things that we don’t need.  Their job is to connect people to the resources (people, services, and products) that they need to do our jobs and enjoy their lives.
It is relatively easy to get people to sign on the line that is dotted, however it takes a true salesperson and a lot of work to get the right people to sign.  This requires that management holds salespeople responsible for the clients they sell, salespeople have to have a simple way to qualify prospects, and marketing to develop products people want.  This doesn’t mean that salespeople aren’t responsible to meet or exceed their quota each month, but that they need to fulfill their quote by closing people that have the need, willingness and resources to purchase.
If you qualify your clients to make sure they have the need, willingness and resources to purchase your products and services you will cultivate a loyal, profitable and active client base, have an appreciative operations team, and a more sustainable business.  The following are questions salespeople can use to make sure they are selling to the right prospects:

  1. Define the Problem and Solution: What problem does my prospect need to solve? What product or service (not necessarily mine) will be the best solution to my prospects problem?  If you can clearly define your prospects problem, and your product or service is the best solution then proceed with the sale.  If their is better solution that you don’t sell, provide them with an introduction to someone that can help them.  While you will forfeit the immediate sale you will help establish yourself as a trusted advisor, and the prospect and their connections will come to you first when they have a problem.  This will provide you with a steady stream of potential clients that will trust your advice when your product/service is the best solution to their problem.
  2. Priced to Deliver: Does my prospect have the resource to purchase my solution at a price I can afford to deliver an exceptional final product? While offering a discount might help you close the deal quicker, you never want to discount your price to a point where it becomes difficult to deliver an exceptional final product because you don’t have enough time, resources or you have to spend your time selling instead of producing.  In my experience people typically stop caring about the price once they have signed, and then they only care about the final deliverable, so it is essential to price your products or services so you can deliver an exceptional final product.
  3. Willingness to Close: Is my prospect willing to invest the required time to understand my solution, get the right people in the room, work to implement my solution, and make the necessary political and financial concessions?  Willingness goes beyond just acknowledging that they have a problem and you have the solution, and having them be willing to sign a contract.  Real willingness is a commitment to implement your solution and extract full value from your solution, and this requires willingness to promote your solution internally to get adoption, get the decision makers to buy in, and put financial and political capital on the line.



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