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How to Qualify a Prospect

Identifying how to qualify a prospect is one of the most important steps in achieving sales excellence. In order to improve our ability to qualify prospects, we need to know what to look for. And to simplify this, there are three qualities that we can easily check for when talking to prospects.


1. Need to Purchase

The first thing to look at is does the prospect have a true need to purchase the products and services that you are selling. Or is it more of a “want” than a true “need” that the prospect has.

You could find yourself in a scenario where you have active discussions with a prospect and have been able to secure meetings to demonstrate your products. But this does not necessarily mean that the prospect is qualified because it could be a scenario where they really like what you have to offer but do not truly need it.

If the prospect does not truly need what we have, we could find ourselves in situations where our deals stall out at the end of the sales cycle when it is time for the prospect to pull the trigger on the purchase. To avoid this and how to qualify a prospect, we can try to look for pain and challenges in the area where our products and services impact.


2. Ability to Purchase

The next thing that we can look at with how to qualify a prospect is does the prospect have the ability to purchase from us in terms of funding and budget. If the prospect has a tremendous need for what you are selling but cannot afford it, they are not a qualified prospect.

Finding out if the prospect has money to spend can often feel like a sensitive subject to discuss. But there are some very direct questions that can be asked to identify if the prospect has the ability to purchase.


"Is there a budget that has been approved for this purchase?"
"What is the budget range that you are trying to stay within for this purchase?"

 


3. Authority to Purchase

If the prospect has a true need and has money to spend, they are still not a fully qualified prospect yet. We also need to identify if they have the authority to purchase in terms of being the ultimate decision maker.

If you are an auto sales person and you have been talking to prospect for two hours and have checked all the boxes in terms of building interest and finding needs, but the person that approves the decision is the spouse that is not there, the prospect is not qualified.

For how to qualify a prospect and to determine if the prospect has the authority to purchase, you can simply ask the prospect what the decision making process is. If you get the prospect to explain that to you, sometimes step-by-step, the explanation should uncover who the ultimate decision maker is and whether or not the prospect is that person.

 

 

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool that helps sales pros with how to qualify a prospect.
 

 

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This article was published on Sunday 26 August, 2012.

Back to main topic: Qualifying Prospects
Qualifying Business to Ensure Sales Effectiveness
Three Questions to Ask When Qualifying Sales
Questions to Ask When Qualifying Sales
Qualifying Sales with Light Questions First
Five Powerful Open Sales Questions
Effectively Qualifying a Prospect
Using Open Ended Sales Questions to Increase Sales
Sales Call Questions that Can Generate Leads
Powerful Questions for Sales People (Part I)
Powerful Questions for Sales People (Part II)

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