Qualifying a prospect isn’t just about determining if you can help that prospect. It’s also about whether the prospect is a good fit for YOU.
You need to ask these five questions before you say yes to a new client:
Your time is valuable! Don’t let people take it unless they’re properly qualified.
Before you even schedule an initial call (commonly called a discovery call) you want to use language and positioning to help prospects understand who you serve. Because in the end, this really serves you.
If you’re investing in marketing to generate leads, you might want to take it step further and include qualifying questions on your scheduling form.
I’ve worked with more than one client who was frustrated with all the time they were spending talking to people who weren’t a good fit for their offer. We worked out some non-offensive qualifying and self qualifying questions that could help prospective clients determine themselves whether a discovery call was worthwhile.
Before you say yes to producing a proposal, and definitely before signing a contract, you’ll want to ensure the client is a good fit. Discovering this after the fact is never a good thing. It’s expensive, emotionally draining, and potentially even damaging to your business. Worse, after you’ve put everything into trying to serve this ill-fitting client, often you’ll end up having to fire the client.
Could you have avoided the whole unpleasant experience by qualifying better in the first place?
Yes, 1000 times, yes!
Sometimes we’re too eager to say ‘yes’, even when our gut is ringing alarm bells. And, inevitably we pay for it.
I had been hired by the VP of a business that seemed like the perfect fit for the outsourced sales service my team and I provide. I didn’t realize there was a problem until the sales kick-off call, where I met the decision maker for the first time. Uh oh.
I finished that call and then told myself I could do anything for 6 months. Until the alarming emails started arriving. Dear reader, I walked away from the several thousand dollars I was already owed rather than continue this engagement, and I have never regretted it.
Yes, I qualify my prospects to ensure they are a good fit for me and I am a good fit for them before we get to the proposal stage. I also no longer sign any business without first meeting the decision maker!
You don’t need to say yes to every potential prospect.
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