Last week we talked about the 1st step in communicating more persuasively in how to make a great Introduction/First Impression (click link to see last week’s post). This week we talk about the 2nd step — Qualification. This step carries a bit of weight since this will decide whether we will continue to speak about our product or idea.
How many times have you been speaking or selling to someone only to get to the end of your pitch and discover that they weren’t ever going to be able to buy or use what you were pitching? Completely frustrating, right?! I know I’ve done this more times than I care to admit.
I believe that if we can answer 3 key questions during this phase that we can save ourselves time, energy, and frustration. While there are certainly a multitude of questions to be answered during the Qualification phase, these 3 will go a long way in helping you.
1. Are they a fit for my product/idea?
Does this person or company fall into the group of people who can or would buy this product. For example, I wouldn’t try to sell construction equipment to a school district. They, most likely, are not in the market for that sort of thing. However, if I was selling curriculum or computers, then I would have an audience that typically purchases those sort of items.
2. Does my product/idea solve a problem?
This is something I learned from sales coach Ed Lamont (website below). If a person/company doesn’t have a problem to be solved, you don’t have anything to sell. I know that when pitching a product/idea that we are looking for a “pain point” because maybe the prospect doesn’t know that they have a problem. However, that “pain point” may simply not be there.
For example, it would be difficult to sell the latest smartphone (I cannot wait for the new iPhone!) to a company that already has smartphones from the previous generation. However, if they are toting bag phones and talking about how neat their floppy drives are, then you probably have a solution for their out-of-date problem.
3. Are they a fit for me?
This last one may seem odd to you, but I think it’s important. Depending on what you’re pitching or the nature of your job, the answer to this question could vary. Simply put, do you like this person?
If your product/idea only requires minimal interactions and the person is a jerk, then you’re probably likely to continue with your pitch. However, if you will have to spend significant time and energy with a jerk and you won’t get much ROI (Return on Investment), then you may not want to do business with them. In the end, it’s up to you to decide.
Think of a time when you neglected to or poorly Qualified someone, what were the consequences or how did you recover? Please leave your comment below!
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Website: LamontConsultingGroup.com for sales coaching