Just the other day, a new sales training client of mine called me to brag about his new ‘awesome’ sales opportunity. “Marc, I just had the greatest sales meeting. I was awesome. The guy loved me and I think it’s going to be a huge sale.”
“Sounds great,” I said, “What are his key challenges?”
“Errr,” he grumbled, “I’m not sure. But he was really excited. I think I’m going to propose a $90K project.”
“Okay, did you talk about money during the meeting?”
To this I replied, “We have a lot of work to do.”
My new client had no idea if his prospect was qualified to work with him. In his binge of excitement, he never spent any time understanding if the prospect was actually a fit. This is common for people steeped in old-school sales training. They spend all of their time trying to persuade, rather than ask questions to understand if the prospect is even a qualified prospect.
I always compare it to visiting the doctor. If you go to your doctor with an ear infection, what does the doctor do?
She fully examines you, asks lots of questions about where and how it’s hurting, and learns about what is causing this. Then, when she’s confident that she knows the solution, she offers a solution.
What if you went to the doctor with an ear infection and instead of fully examining you, she just says as you enter, “Well you have come to the right place!!! We have all sorts of solutions for ear infections. Let me show you our awesome antibiotics and ear drops! So, are you ready to buy?”
I imagine that you would be freaked out. A good doctor would never do that, but this is what sales people are doing all day long. Instead of trying to persuade, think like a doctor to understand if a prospect is a good fit.
How do you know if your prospects are qualified? Please share below.