Step 2: Pre-qualify everybody
Once you know what your ideal prospect looks like, you will only want to spend most of your valuable time pursuing and meeting these individuals. In order to help you to do that, you will need to pre-qualify everybody.
This refers to making a quick assessment to determine if the prospect is close to being an ideal prospect. In some ways you can pre-qualify through research before pursuing the prospect. But in most cases, you will accomplish this best by asking pre-qualifying questions when you talk with them. Their answers will tell you how well they fit and if it is worth your valuable time to even talk with them.
Step 3: Separate those that need from those that need right now
Just because a prospect is an “ideal prospect” does not mean that they are a done deal in terms of someone you can easily sell too. They might fit really well and even need what you have, but they may not need what you have right now.
Once we get focused on our ideal prospects, we can end up with a pie chart like below. The majority of the pie are prospects that fit well. But there is that smaller slice of those that fit well and also need to make a change now.
Examples of those that might fit well but not need to purchase right now might be a prospect that just purchased something similar to what you are selling making it tough for them to purchase again for some time, or a prospect that needs what you have but they will not have budget available until next year, or they would like to make a change but they are locked into a contract until next year.
When you find out that an ideal prospect is not really a prospect that needs what you have right now, this is not a horrible revelation. Simply move them down in your pipeline and level of priority and put the right tools and processes in place in order to stay fresh in their mind so that when “no, not right now” becomes “I am ready”, you will be someone that they reach out to.
Step 4: Focus on those that need right now
Once you have separated the ideal prospects to find those that need what you have right now, you then have your key list of prospects to focus and close.
Do you think you will need to use magic and manipulation to close and convince these prospects? Of course not – these prospects need what you have to offer and they need to make a change now.
In reality, if you do enough of the right things during the sales process, closing the prospect will be the easiest thing that you have to do and will almost take care of itself in many instances.
Bringing it all together
If you try to sell to everybody, you will end up in situations where you do have to perform magic and manipulation in order to sell your products and services. You will need to be smooth and you will also need to be a little sneaky at times. This makes selling very difficult and a direction that has less odds for success.
But it does not need to be so difficult. If you focus more on selling to those that fit well and those that need what you have to offer right now, selling becomes much easier and you will not need to pull any tricks out of a hat in order to be successful.
An objection to this might be “Well, I don’t have enough ideal prospects in my pipeline so I have no choice but to sell to everybody.”
That is understandable but if you become more aware of what your ideal prospects look like and what “everybody else” looks like, you can then improve your ability to know when you are spending your valuable time on someone that is not an ideal prospect. This is an important moment of awareness and if you change your actions so you walk away from the poor quality prospect when you recognize this, you will then end up saving yourself time that might have been wasted.
If you are able to repurpose this saved time and redirect it toward finding new and potentially better quality prospects, you can end up over time with a pipeline that is more full with ideal prospects.