Qualify Your Prospect: Don’t Waste Precious Time

As a professional producer or salesperson, you need to be good at a few key things. You must be able to find new leads, build relationships quickly, and ask insightful questions. However, one of the most crucial skills is qualifying—or even disqualifying—prospects. Here’s why:

Salespeople are usually optimists who love helping people and making money. But often, they hesitate to qualify prospects too strictly because they fear discovering it’s not a good opportunity. This leads to a weak pipeline.

As my friend Mark Trinkle says, we’d rather “date than eliminate.” But you must determine whether a prospect’s issues are real problems or just minor inconveniences. The key is to understand the impact of these issues. If there’s no significant impact, there’s no problem, and without a problem, there’s no opportunity.

Ask the Right Questions to Qualify Your Prospect

Just because a prospect complains about slow responses or high prices from their current supplier doesn’t mean they’re ready to switch. You need to ask assertive questions like:

  • When did you first notice this problem?
  • What happened when you brought it up with your current supplier?
  • How will this issue impact you or your company if it continues?

If there’s no significant impact, you’re wasting your time.

Chris Voss, author of “Never Split the Difference,” says in every sale, you’re either the favorite or the fool. If you don’t know which one you are, you’re the fool. Don’t force a fit where there isn’t one by failing to ask the right questions.

Build a strong pipeline by asking tough, clear questions. The best time to lose a bad opportunity is right at the beginning, so you don’t waste time and energy on dead ends. Walk into every potential sale with the mindset that you’d like the business, but you don’t need it. Desperation is noticeable and counterproductive.

Remember, the more you need a sale, the less likely you are to get it because you won’t ask the hard questions necessary to qualify the opportunity properly.

I hope this helps you better qualify your prospects. Build your pipeline with confidence and maintain a walk-away attitude. This approach will lead to greater satisfaction and success. Thanks for listening.

From Jack Kasel, Sales Development Expert
Anthony Cole Training Group


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