The Qualification Process

We have all worked with an unqualified suspect. Because we believe these prospects could be ideal customers, we ignore all the warning signs and continue to advance the sales process in the hope of getting a close. When the time comes to ask for the close, we hear things like, “we don’t have the budget for this right now,” or “I need to talk with my manager about this,” or even “this would be the perfect solution in 6 months.”

These could very well be valid concerns from your prospect. But there is a way to catch these objections early in the sales process to avoid slowing down momentum as you ask for the close. In a recent blog, Robert Seviourtalked about how to fix this problem.

“The antidote is to ‘Qualify’ the prospect. What that means is finding out at an early stage whether the person you are talking to has what it takes to become a fully-paid up customer. What we need to know is, does he or she have the authority to make a purchasing decision without consulting others; have they got the money and what is the strength of interest.”

This is a very insightful comment from Mr. Seviour. Not only does he tell us when it is important to qualify in the sales process, but what the qualifying factors should be. A good sales person must learn how to qualify and what to qualify for at different stages of the process. When a sales person learns how to qualify they can rely on the sales process and let the system guide them through qualification.

The first step of Griffin Hill’s Integrity Sales System, the Case Open routine, creates interest. In order for a buyer to be qualified to move forward to the Needs Audit, they must be interested in your product. Executing your Case Open Routine is a way you can create interest. If the suspect is not interested after hearing a strong Case Open Routine, all the tools of persuasion& are probably pointless. In that case, it is best to walk away happily rather than waste valuable time trying to persuade a buyer who has no interest.

When your Case Open does create interest there is a built-in play that will help test the level of interest. The Schedule the Next Event Play seeks a commitment from the suspect that signals that there is enough interest to take the sales process to the next step. If the buyer is interested, the suspect meets this qualification criterion and is allowed to advance in the sales process.

The qualification process does not end there. During the next stage of the sales process, the Needs Audit Routine, we ask questions that are used to help qualify for need, want, ability to pay, and decision making. If our prospects qualify in those 4 areas, we can again use the Schedule the Next Event Play and take the sales process to the next step.

If the buyer is not qualified, don’t be afraid to walk away. You’re better off finding qualified prospects than dragging unqualified prospects through a process they can’t complete. By following the playset, the system will take care of qualification. Figuring out early in the sales process that the prospect is not qualified will allow you to move on and focus your efforts on finding those buyers who are.

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