How To More Quickly Qualify Buyers

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How To More Quickly Qualify Buyers

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As salespeople, we only have so much time in the day – and with billions of people in the world, we don’t have time to sell to everyone.

The best salespeople take this a step further, though. They understand they don’t have the time to even speak with every lead they’re handed. These salespeople are relentless about qualifying their prospects so that they can spend more time serving those people they can sell and serve.

To learn how the best salespeople quickly qualify (and disqualify) opportunities, we sat down with Ryan Booth, vice president of sales at PSI Process and former US Army officer. We broke down the same type of systems used by high performers in the military that allow them to focus on their high value targets, and build a system any salesperson can use to more quickly qualify their buyers!

Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T – Trigger: To trigger this system, Ryan says to start by determining where your leads come from. For sales professionals, that means segmenting the inbound and outbound leads, and understanding what each of them mean.

Inbound leads mean the prospect understands they have a challenge they need help with, whereas outbound leads mean we believe there is a challenge in that person’s life that we can help with.

Understanding the difference between inbound and outbound leads encourages us to attune ourselves more finely to the types of outbound leads we develop, as the more we know about them and their industry, the more quickly we can qualify them once we get into a conversation.

R – Repeatable: To make a qualification system repeatable, Ryan says we must first answer the question: Does this prospect know they have a problem? If there’s no pain, then it becomes difficult to convince them to spend time solving it. If we’re speaking with people who don’t know they have a problem we can solve or aren’t suffering much from it, then we need to spin up on the symptoms those problems may be causing in that prospect’s life and business.

Next, Ryan says to establish a budget and timeline they need to see results in. If either of those is outside what you can deliver, then you know to disqualify this prospect quickly. Ensure you have a referral partner that may be able to handle that prospect’s problem, so they prospect continues to see you as a partner in their success, and not just as a vendor.

If budget and timeline are aligned with what you can deliver, Ryan says to then establish urgency with the prospect. Let them tell you how urgently this challenge needs to be solved or guide them through the process of establishing urgency for themselves. Once your prospect understands the downstream effects of waiting to solve this challenge, it may affect the timeline they need to see results in.

Fourth, Ryan says to go over the upstream and downstream effects of solving the problem or problems you’ve been discussing. What does solving the problem allow your prospect to do more, better or differently? What does not solving it cost them? Again, once answers to those questions are defined, you’ll have a better idea if this prospect will make a good client or not.

I – Improvable: To improve this system, keep track of the questions you’re asking both your inbound and outbound prospects. Which ones are driving more engagement and conversation? Consider expanding those and eliminating the ones that don’t get the prospect excited and talkative.

M – Measurable: To measure the effects of this system against your sales goals, you can examine lagging indicators like conversion, but one metric that yields far more revenue is to measure the lifetime value of the clients who you’ve used this system to qualify.

Are they returning to buy more follow-on products and services?

If you’ve qualified them appropriately, they’ll know that you are qualified to partner with them for the long-term.

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