It is very important to be able to identify when a sales prospect is qualified and worth spending valuable time with. Having this skill will enable you to determine if a prospect has a low probability of moving forward and if you are able to clearly see that, you will be able to prevent yourself from wasting valuable time with bad sales prospects.
To improve your ability to identify whether a sales prospect is likely to buy from you or not, you can try to look for 4 different qualities.
1. Need to Purchase
The first thing to look for is does the sales prospect truly need what you have to sell or is it more of a want. For example, we all would love to get a new car almost at any point in our life and that means that we always “want” a new car.
But there are only certain times where we “need” a new car. This is when our current vehicle reaches a certain age or level of use to a point where it is not performing at an acceptable level.
It is not to say that you cannot sell to someone where their interest it based more on a want than a need. Just as there are many people that buy a new car when it is more that they want it than truly needing a new car.
But when you are able to easily identify whether the interest you are observing is tied to a need or it is more of a want, you will improve your ability to determine how likely the prospect is to purchase from you.
2. Authority to Purchase
You also want to determine if the sales prospect has the authority to purchase from you. In other words, is the prospect the ultimate decision maker and the one that will say whether or not to move forward with the purchase?
You could have great discussions going with a prospect but if they aren’t the one who can pull the trigger on the purchase, then your deal is not qualified and should not be seen as being qualified until you bring the decision maker into the conversation and process.
3. Ability to Purchase
Does the prospect have the ability to purchase what you are trying to sell? This could actually include a couple of different things. First and most obvious is to identify whether or not the prospect has the money to spend in order to purchase.
But another thing that this can include is the ability to move forward from a contractual standpoint. Is the prospect locked into any existing agreements that will prevent them from moving forward?
4. Intent to Purchase
Does the prospect have a genuine intent to purchase and purchase from you? Not only is it important to identify if the prospect is serious about purchasing, but you also want to identify if they are serious about purchasing from you.
For example, a sales prospect may be 100% serious about buying a new car but they have already spent hours at another dealership and they have come to your dealership to just get a price that they can take back to the other dealership for negotiation purposes.