Time is something you can´t make, buy, borrow, or steal. There are 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week — it´s fixed. Why is this obvious point important? It´s important because as sales, marketing, and business professionals, none of us have the time to waste on meetings, conversations, and proposals with prospective customers that don´t go anywhere. In particular, you don´t have time to spend on a lengthy proposal for business you have little chance of winning.
Qualify, qualify, qualify.
How will a purchase decision be made? What is the time frame for the decision? What are the selection criteria? How will the selection criteria be weighted? Does your solution address the root issue or opportunity your prospective client is trying to address? What is the competitive landscape? Do you have a competitive advantage your prospect will value?
Do you have a realistic chance of winning? If not, you may not want to compete. You don´t have the time to waste.