Ultimate Selling Solutions Blog

Qualifying On Interest

Do you qualify on logic?

Do you qualify on emotion?

Do you qualify on logic and emotion?

And,  Do you qualify deeply on the emotional level, sometimes referred to as “PAIN”

While many of the reasons given by suspects and prospects is based on logic, in fact; most of the reasons initially given will be based on business logic, it’s the underlying emotional reasons that often cause people to choose one path or another...and prospects are no different.

For example: they called you, answered your advertising, took your cold call or filled out a questionnaire on your website for a reason. Qualifying on interest means finding out what the reasons are. And, taking it too the emotional level is the most critical issue in qualifying true sales opportunities.

  • It’s not about what they would like to do
  • It’s not about what they should do
  • Its not about what they need to do
  • It’s not about being on their wish list!
  • It’s not because they are craving to spend money.
  • It’s not because they have a great team to run projects.
  • Or,  other reasons they might give

It’s because something is affecting them deeply and they want, need and must take action.

What are those things? It’s your job to find it out. Until you do, they’re not deeply qualified on interest which typically results in no action taken.

Just remember, if they have money, will make a decisions but don’t have enough interest to buy, THEY WONT!  Sounds like:  I have money, I can make the decision, but I/we really don’t need right now. Check back with me...

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They’re Qualified, Or Are They?

Unfortunately, too often in the minds of many salespeople, being qualified means:

  • They have interest in what I sell
  • They need what I have (from salesperson perspective)
  • They know it costs something
  • They called us
  • I have an appointment
  • They have money
  • I have a personal contact/friend at the company
  • I believe I can close the sale
  • It’s a referral
  • They have a proposal from us
  • We received their RFP, RFI, RFQ
  • They sourced us via our web site

These things DON’T mean they’re QUALIFIED!

Most salespeople get a list of the buyer’s requirements, come up with a rough idea of the project scope, and then are pressured—either by the prospect or the sales manager—to present a proposal and start talking prices. At that point, all kinds of concerns and objections come up, the deal falters, you try to negotiate, and things all too often fall apart—and you find out the hard, time-consuming and expensive way that the prospect was never really qualified.  They were not committed to the project in the first place!

Has this happened to you?How many times?Are you tired of it?

To be qualified, (long before the “proposal” or demo) they are going to tell you:

when they need to deploy or take delivery of your product or service
how they will pay for it
who are the consultants they retained, their purpose
who your competitors are
who the decision makers are, the influencers, the recommenders
how the buying decision will be made
what the deal-breakers are
where you rank and your potential for success
what the politics are
whether you’re really in the game or not
…and yes, all of this before you present any solution to them, of any kind, in any way.

Why are they going to tell you this? because you’re going to ask them; it’s that easy.

In Ultimate Selling it’s just about asking all the right questions—and their richly informative answers will follow. You may not get the answer you want; but it will save you time and energy to find out if they’re not a qualified prospect far earlier in the game than you’ve been used to doing. No surprises. No “lost sales”. No dashed hopes. Just a calm assessment on your part that they are not a solid prospect for you to continue with.

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Are You Losing To No Decision?

Picture this: You did all the right things. You gave a great presentation, great demo and submitted a fantastic proposal only to hear, “we are going to hold off on our decision right now”. Or, “we have decided to stay with our current program, vendor, etc”.

WOW! Now thats what an Ultimate Seller calls a real bad investment of time, energy and resources  in pursuit of the status quo.

OK, so how do you avoid the “No Decision”?

Before you can earn their business, you need to engage the decision makers and stakeholders in discovering why there is a compelling reason to change, why now and why you. And all your focus needs to be on the first two before you can move to the Why You?

Only then, do you present how you and your company are the best to fulfill their needs.

So, make sure you discover there interest in your product or service at a deeper, emotional level . Then help them experience emotionally, their payoffs. Be it money, prestige, improved process, customer loyalty, improved quality, customer satisfaction. It must be compelling and inspire them to make a decision and take action now.

Remember, if you cant uncover the first two, then you haven’t earned the right to present the Why You?  If you do, you will continue to lose to the status quo, no decision.

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How Do You Win If It’s Cost Comparison?

First and foremost, if the customer is using you for a cost comparison, it’s a clear signal that you need to go back to Qualifying. It’s not about the matrix and bullet point comparison, it’s about determining the emotional affects to their business as well as financial. You need to think like a business person, not a salesperson.

  • If you are the provider, how will it really affect the customer?
  • Will they reach a wider customer base or new markets?
  • Will it stop a cash flow drain?
  • Will it allow them to mitigate other issues?
  • Quality
  • Operational cost reduction
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Customer loyalty
  • What else?
  • Will it increase employee loyalty and reduce turnover?

Too many sales professionals don’t discuss emotional returns on investment with their prospects, and too many also don’t discuss financial impacts effectively. It’s a failure that keeps salespeople pitching, sales-versus-prospect relationship, or “you versus them”—and they will challenge any numbers from a third party source, question the ROI, so they can only be partly qualified on money.

Engage them in the process, deepen the dialog—and their level of trust in your ability to understand their needs and deliver a good solution deepens along with it.

I want to convey that Money is not just about HOW they will pay for it, but the foundation and
justification as to WHY they should invest in your solution(s)

Beat the cost comparison game and become the default provider of choice.