There are times where prospects will seem very interested in what you sell. This is great, but it is important to know if the prospect’s interest is tied to more of a “need” or if it is more of a “want.” For example, if someone has a car that breaks down periodically, this person has a true need for a new car. But if someone has a car that never breaks down and this person is just bored and wants something new, this is more of a want. It is important to be able to identify which type of interest the prospect has in order to qualify.
How to Handle a No Need Prospect
If you identify that a prospect has more of a want than a need, you should be a little cautious with the amount of time you give them. For example, if you sold cars, you would not want to spend peak hours on a Sunday afternoon taking a prospect on test drives if that person does not really need to purchase a car. You should definitely answer all of his or her questions and provide good customer service, and you can certainly take them on a test drive if there are no other prospects at the dealership. But if there are other prospects that you can spend your valuable time with, you might want to try to find a way to spend more of your time with other prospects who have more of a need for what you sell.
Converting that to a B2B sales scenario, you may have a prospect who asks you to fly across the country to go to her office and give a demo of your product. When she asks for this, you might think that this is qualified lead because she is asking you to come and give a demonstration. But if you were to ask some of your pain, current environment, and qualifying questions, you would find out that, while the prospect is interested in some of the new features of your product, her current system is doing a decent job in most areas. This means that the prospect’s interest is more of a want than a need. In this scenario, you definitely want to provide a demonstration and keep the dialogue going, but you might be cautious about spending your time and money to fly out to the prospect’s office, and you could do that by proposing a virtual demo.
The other thing you might want to do with a no need prospect is be cautious with how your forecast this business in your pipeline. These are the prospects who are very responsive during the sales process and then go silent or the deal falls apart in the eleventh hour because there is not enough of a need to justify spending the money required to purchase your product.
How to Identify If the Prospect Has a Need
Here are some qualifying questions to ask to assess how strong the prospect is in the area of needing what you sell.
Current Environment Questions
Who are you currently using today?
How long have you been with them?
How is everything going?
What are some things you like about what they provide?
What are some things that you think could be better?
If you could change one thing about their product/service, what would it be?
When was the last time you considered other options in this area?
(Sizing Question) How many _____ do you currently have?
Are you the right person to discuss this area with?
Need vs. Want Qualifying Questions
What motivated you to look at us (brought you to us)?
Do you mind if I ask why you took time out of your schedule to meet with us?
What improvements could you see if you make this purchase?
What will happen if you do not purchase something?
Is there a date when this purchase needs to be made?
What happens if the purchase is not made by that date?
What is the time frame that the project needs to work along?