Prospection & Qualification: What are the Golden Rules?
Updated: Apr 1
Everybody knows prospection is very important for your business. It allows you to generate more pipeline and close new deals down the road. Working with many SMB's managers, I often realised the prospection process was not clear for everybody. In this article, I will outline the Golden rules of prospection to help you evaluate your own process and adjust it if necessary.
Do your homework before reaching out. It’s important to get familiar with your prospects and their industry, it will help you create powerful trust and rapport once you have selected the right persons to contact.
Don’t be just another salesman, put your heart into your work and let your future clients feel the interest you have working with them. Those Homeworks will also help you bring value within your first call making sure what you have to offer is relevant and in adequacy with their needs.
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No Pain, No Sales: Strong rapport means effective communication and a prospective client open, willing to engage. Having a deep understanding of the “Pain” they have will help you become a trusted advisor and position your solutions or products.
As a skilled professional consultant, business developer or key account manager, it’s important to remember that, in general, people love to talk about themself, especially with somebody the can relate to.
Transparently engage the conversation about the challenge they are facing, ask intelligent questions and offer productive answers, keep a high level of attention to identify the triggers by which your prospects make their decisions, the values that they consider important and finally why this project will be very important to them.
Clients goals, find deep motivation. Questions are powerful tools for influential communication. They can serve to instil ideas in people’s minds, change their perception of problems, and help you to gain compliance or agreement to our suggestions. Remember that the person who controls the questions is the person who controls the conversation.
Use questioning to discover the deep motivation of your prospect. why is this project so important for him? What kept him up at night? Once again go deep and found that motivation, enhance it with the prospects. The more they are involved in solving their own problems, with your help, then the more ownership they take of the solution and the less likely they are to walk away from a proposal that you build together.
Answer all questions and objections. If a prospect make a statement or create an objection you can often get a great deal of clarity around it, and so deal with it, if you probe using the six ‘open’ questions (How, What, Where, Why, When and Who) and the word “Specifically”.
This will have the prospect dissect their objections and allow you to find a way through it and carry on with the business process. Each question and objection successfully handled is a step closer to closing the deal, so learn to welcome them and use them as valuable tools in creating even better business success by sustaining and monetising the lifetime value of the client. As a trusted advisor, you want to be extra transparent with your prospects and not let any grey area around their reasoning.
Disqualify is AS important as Qualify: Knowing who is your ideal client, you should also know who will never buy from you or don’t fit with your vision of making business. Create a negative persona and create a set of questions to identify them quickly is very important. It helps you optimise your working time, focus only on meaningful conversations and keep your energy level high by shutting down the unwanted conversation.
Know how to create a sense of Urgency: One of the most difficult aspects of sales can be getting prospects to move forward quickly rather than push off the decision into the future. Salespeople are incentivized to make things happen quickly, but prospects have their own needs and timelines, which are much more important to them than your need to hit your sales goals.
There are a few different ways to create a sense of urgency, but it’s important to remember that you can’t approach the situation from a perspective of what’s best for you. Instead, you can only approach it from the perspective of how moving forward quickly will benefit your prospect. Helping them realise how curing their pains now will answer their deep motivation needs.
You are not selling a product, you are selling a solution: Using your storytelling skills and creating a big picture based on what the prospects told you about is pains and needs, you can now position yourself as a trusted advisor selling a solution to the challenges they are facing. Developing positive ‘imaginings’ in the minds of your prospects create an attitude of ‘can do’, a willingness to move forward, making your relationship stronger and more aligned with success.
Those Golden Rules should be the basics of your sales qualifications during your prospecting period. You need to establish a strong foundation to built up the relationship you have with your prospects and become a thoughts leader within your industry. To help you with your qualification process I design this template you can use during your calls and make sure you have everything you need when closing the phone.