Quite often when we think of qualifying a prospect, we believe this process to occur earlier on in the relationship. However, the qualifying process can take on many forms. Here are three different strategies you can incorporate into your prospecting efforts as it relates to qualifying your prospects at a much deeper and more rewarding level. You’ll notice new selling opportunities right in front of you that you never knew existed before.
#1 – Learn from Each Call – Conduct Valuable Research
For those calls where you feel you’ve given it your best effort and you’re just not getting anywhere:
“I do apologize for the intrusion as well as my approach. I can understand how people are a bit skeptical of a cold call. Quite frankly, so would I. May I ask, when making a decision on what [venders to choose, products to buy, services to use], how do you go about gathering your information? This way, if I ever get a second chance to speak with you, I can honor your decision making process and hopefully connect with you in a way that you are more comfortable.”
“What would have made you more receptive to my call today?”
#2 – Prospect Your Prospects
For those prospects who may simply not be a fit, yet may know people who are:
“Mr. Prospect, thanks again for taking the time to speak with me today. I’ve certainly enjoyed our conversation. Based on what you are currently doing, it seems that our product is not a good fit for you. However, I hope our conversation reinforced what a great job your current vender is doing for you.
While there may not be anything I can provide you that would make a measurable difference in comparison to what you are doing now, maybe there’s another way we can work together. In your line of work, I’m sure you run across other people who have shared similar challenges that you had and might be looking for a better solution. If you know someone who is always looking out for ways to do things better and who you feel could benefit from our product, would you be comfortable referring them to me?”
Then, continue with: “That sounds great. Then may I ask who you know that would be a good candidate for our service?”
#3 – Get Permission to Follow Up and Prospect Them
For those prospects who may now be in your pipeline and need follow up to insulate them from your competition, while keeping your finger on their buying cycle and when they may be ready to buy:
“Mr. Prospect, thanks again for your time today. Before we rap up this conversation, I’ve noticed that in the past, when I have attempted to reconnect with someone months after our first contact, many things have transpired. Changes in their position, in their company, or in their life often have tendency to divert even the best-laid plans. Since there are so many things that can happen in two months, I was hoping that I could stay in contact with you without stepping over the line and being annoying about it. With your permission, can I contact you from time to time with updates about our product or valuable information that you may find of interest as it relates to your business?”
A monthly newsletter, a free trial, an article of interest, a great new product feature or being a resource for additional needs they may have are just a few ways to deliver value during this “down time” and keep your finger on the pulse of every prospect you speak with.