How can I better determine if a prospect is really a good lead for me? On more than one occasion, I have met with a prospect that seemed promising, and then it either went nowhere or was a waste of my time. What are ways to keep this from happening?
Asking key questions up front can help reduce the chances of taking too much time with a prospect who is really a "suspect" - someone who won't result in worthwhile business for you. Resist the tendency to get into "sell" mode too early.
Just this week I called a referral prospect to explore a potential project. I had been told the client was interested in a certain direction and to explore their use of one of my surveys. Asking some probing questions revealed they had been doing something along those lines for the past 3 years - and were getting ready to start the survey again within the week.
But the prospect was open to my questions and I was able to uncover a complimentary need that could potentially be a far larger project than what I originally thought I was calling for.
Consider using some of Alan Weiss' Questions for Any Sales Situation
- Why do you think we might be a good match?
- Is there a budget for this project?
- How important is this need (on a scale of 1-10)?
- Who, if anyone, is demanding this be accomplished?
- How soon are you willing to begin?
- Have you tried this before? What were the results?
Another source to consider is next week's IMC USA Academy offering, Stop Pitching, Start Offering by Tim Wackel.
If you want to help clients discover what they really want, click here for details. It's $29 for members and $79 for non-members.