Prospecting: 7 Criteria Define the Perfect Prospect
So we have developed our marketing plan and now it time to get out and actually sell something. Our marketing plan is designed to funnel prospects our way. Remember we need multiple (Parthenon) pillars in our marketing plans so we are channeling prospects our way from multiple directions. However not all prospects will be good prospects. How do we sort through the prospects to know good ones from bad ones? How do we go about determining who is a good prospect and who isn’t? We only have so much time. How do we use it most effectively? Let’s look at that and see if we can save ourselves some time in this the first part of the selling process.
THE ABSOLUTE BEST PROSPECTS WILL MEET ALL 7 OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
Have the Ability to Buy. The world is filled with people that have no money, do not have the authority or cannot afford you product or service. They may have the ability at some point in the future but not right now. Move on unless you are in the business of giving away “free samples.”
Genuine Need Without a need for your product the ability to pay is irrelevant.
Must Have the Ability to Act Quickly Your prospect must have the ability to act within a reasonable amount of time, and must have the authority to buy. Large corporations are filled with multiple levels of influence and authority. Make sure the person you are dealing with is the center of the influence or has the buying power
These first three criteria can be resolved quickly in the sales cycle using proper questioning. Do not assume just because someone “grants” you an appointment they hold the key to the decision-making process.
The next four criteria need to be developed and cultivated. Your product/service sales cycle will determine how long some of these take.
Knows, Likes and Respects You This takes time and goes to relationship building and building a positive personal brand. Understand this. Customers within industries, within towns, within associations etc talk with each other. Your name and your reputation will eventually proceed you. Make sure it does so in a positive way.
Perceive High Value Your customer must perceive high value in what he is buying. You convey this by building a powerful corporate and personal brand.
The Benefits Must Outweigh the Price F.A.B. Features Advantages, Benefits. Many sales people make the mistake of selling Features. Customers almost always buy Benefits, and Benefits in some form or fashion almost always relate back to money.
Excellent Source of Leads Leads and warm referrals are what every sales person strives for. A warm referral is so much more effective than cold calling.
So, as we spend our time prospecting let’s make sure as those prospects turn into conversations. Those conversations turn into selling opportunities, those selling opportunities are with the correct people. The more of these criteria a prospect fits the better prospect and then customer they will become.
About the Author
With more than three decades of experience in all facets of sales management, customer service, business growth, and staff coordination, Certified Business Coach Greg Emslie is a focused professional with the tools to help you grow and manage your business effectively.
Driven by his ability to implement proven business concepts and help improve teams, Greg affects all areas of the companies he works with, including sales, leadership, profitability, and decision-making. He focuses on improving efficiency and processes for his clients while helping them grow their revenue base.
Ready to begin finding other ways to make your company more productive? Let’s get the conversation started. Contact Greg Emslie for a business strategy discussion today!