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The Ultimate Prospect Qualification Tool

Instructions: Bookmark this page. Then, when you're speaking to a prospect for the first time, use this simple, free tool to guide you through all all four stages of prospect qualification:

1. Confirm the need.
2. Define the financial impact.
3. Discover the buying process.
4. Determine the time frame.

At each stage, you either gather information that will either help you close the sale or makes it clear this is not a real opportunity. Either way you win.

NOTE: The questions aren't to be repeated literally. Use your personal skills to make the conversation natural.

CLICK HERE TO USE THIS TOOL QUALIFY A PROSPECT

IMPORTANT: To make your cold calls more successful, try: THE ULTIMATE COLD-CALLING TOOL

STAGE 1: Confirm the need
ASK: Are you experiencing the problem (or missing the opportunity) that our offering addresses?
Note: this question may have already been answered during the lead generation process (e.g. on the initial cold call.) However, you should still confirm that there is indeed a REAL need by probing a little deeper.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
This is not a valid opportunity.

Make sure you have the prospect's contact info for your future reference.

End the conversation gracefully and politely.

Celebrate! Good job!

You just saved yourself hours, days or weeks of wasted effort!!

CLICK HERE TO QUALIFY THE NEXT PROSPECT.

STAGE 1: Confirm the need (cont.)
ASK: Additional questions to further diagnose the situation.
  • These questions will vary according to the specifics of your offering.
  • Have the list of offering-specific qualifying/clarifying questions written out and next to your phone when you call.
Once you've gotten some answers:

ASK: Are you experiencing the problem (or missing the opportunity) that our offering addresses?

STAGE 2: Define the financial impact

Great! You've confirmed that the prospect needs your offering. You must now discover HOW MUCH they need it.

ASK: What is the financial impact on your firm of this problem (or missed opportunity)?

  • The prospect answers: A number large enough to justify a purchase.
    Click HERE.
  • The prospect answers: A number NOT large enough to justify a purchase.
    Click HERE.
  • The prospect answers: "I don't know". Click HERE.

STAGE 2: Define the financial impact (cont.)

ASK: Would you be willing to help me estimate the financial impact?
  • The prospect answers: "No." Click HERE.
  • The prospect answers: "Yes." Proceed to ask the following questions, as appropriate, keeping a running tab of the total. (Note: you'll probably have to help the customer do some estimating.)
  1. How much more revenue will the prospect's firm sell if this problem is addressed (or opportunity enabled)?
  2. How much money will the prospect's firm save in eliminated reworks, scrap, overtime, etc., if they buy your solution?
  3. How much money will your customer save in expediting costs, airfreight charges, etc., if they buy your solution?
  4. How much money will your customer save in labor costs, overhead, etc., if they buy your solution?
  5. How much money will your customer save in eliminated penalties and litigation if they buy your solution?
  6. How much money will your customer save in terms of hiring expenses, relocation, retraining, etc., if they buy your solution?
If the final number is
  • The final total is: Large enough to justify a purchase. Click HERE.
  • The final total is: NOT large enough to justify a purchase. Click HERE.

STAGE 3: Discover the buying process
Great! You now know the prospect needs your offering and needs it enough to justify purchasing it. Now let's find out how to make that happen...

ASK: How does your firm generally purchase products like this?

  • The prospect CAN articulate the buying process. Click HERE.
  • The prospect CANNOT articulate the buying process. Click HERE.

STAGE 3: Discover the buying process (cont.)

Great! The prospect can articulate the buying process.
Take notes.

Carefully record any names that come up and the roles those individuals play.

When the prospect is finished and the conversation point seems natural, Click HERE to continue.

STAGE 3: Discover the buying process (cont.)
ASK: Who in your firm CAN articulate the buying process and how can I meet with that person?
  • The prospect provides a name and is willing to provide an introduction. Record it,
    then Click HERE.
  • The prospect cannot provide a name or is unwilling to provide an introduction.
    Then Click HERE.
STAGE 3: Discover the buying process (cont.)
ASK: Who owns the budget?
NOTE: you may have to provide a rough estimate of what your offering costs in order to determine the level of budget approval that will be required.

STAGE 3: Discover the buying process (cont.)
Great! The prospect can identify the budget-owners.
Take notes.

Carefully record any names that come up and the roles those individuals play.

When the prospect is finished, Click HERE.

STAGE 3: Discover the buying process (cont.)
ASK: Who in your organization would know whether there's a budget?
  • The prospect identifies a name and is willing to provide an introduction, record it. Click HERE.
  • The prospect cannot identify a name or is unwilling to provide an introduction. Click HERE.
STAGE 4: Determine the time frame
Fabulous! You now know how the prospect is going to purchase your offering. Now let's get the schedule in place, so you know what to do next... and when it needs doing.

ASK: What's your time frame for addressing this problem (opportunity)?

  • The prospect answers: "Never" (for a VALID reason like an impending bankruptcy, etc.)
    Click HERE.
  • The prospect answers: "Sometime in the future" or "Never" (but with no valid reason) Click HERE.
  • The prospect answers: "Now" or "Soon" Click HERE.

STAGE 4: Determine the time frame (cont.)

Based upon the information gathered when you asked about financial impact, review the financial impact of NOT purchasing. Point out how that impact will only increase over time. Then...

ASK: Now that we've reviewed the financial impact, what's your time frame for addressing this problem (opportunity)?


STAGE 3: Discover the buying process (cont.)
ASK: Who else can say "Yes" and who can say "No" to this?

Take notes.

Carefully record any names that come up and the roles those individuals play.

When the prospect is finished, Click HERE.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
You've got a real-life prospect that could turn into a real live customer.

Identify the next steps (introductions, another meeting, etc.) and get agreement with the contact.

Gracefully end the meeting.

Celebrate. Good job.

IMPORTANT: Now write up your notes into a "sales action plan." It should define the sales process, list the names of the players, and set out the steps that you intend to take in order to move the sales forward and close the business. Schedule the activities in your calendar. Do it NOW!

CLICK HERE TO QUALIFY THE NEXT PROSPECT.

THE BACKBURNER
You've got a real life prospect but your offering is lower priority than other purchases that the prospect intends to make.

This may change, however, so it's worthwhile to keep this prospect in mind.

Based upon the customer's timeframe, schedule a follow-up call to revisit the situation.

Gracefully end the meeting.

Celebrate. Good job.

IMPORTANT: Schedule the activities in your calendar. Do it NOW!

CLICK HERE TO QUALIFY THE NEXT PROSPECT.

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