To be successful in sales, you must effectively identify new prospects. Ask yourself where you can find the maximum number of qualified prospects in a minimum period of time.

To be successful in qualifying prospects, you must be skilled in asking the right questions of the right people in the right places. The first three qualifying questions: “Who?, Where?, Why?” will assist you in finding quality prospects. “What?” is designed to help you target your presentation and needs analysis process, and “When?” can maximize your time and effectiveness in the qualification process.

“How?” questions are perhaps the most crucial of all because many of the answers will evolve from the other five questions. Here are a few examples you may find useful:

1. Who? Best used to convert “targets” into highly qualified prospects are…

– Who has the most obvious need for your products or services?

– Who has the most urgent need to buy your products?

– Who has the money to buy your products or services immediately?

2. Where? Best used to identify prospects beyond your current client list…

– Where do your ideal prospects live, work, socialize, or play?

– Where can you find useful lists of people who fit your ideal prospect profile?

– Where can you go to contact new prospects?

3. Why? Best used to set priorities and effectively use your time while qualifying prospects…

– Why would the prospect be likely to buy your product or service?

– Why would the prospect resist buying your product or service?

– Why might this be a good (or bad) time to approach the prospect?

– Why would this person be likely to set up an appointment with you?

4. What? Best used to boost your qualifying average…

– What will the prospect find most beneficial about your product or service?

– What questions could you ask to get the prospect to talk about their needs?

– What information should you gather about the prospect before you meet with him?

5. When? Best used to determine appropriate timing…

– When is the best time to contact a prospect?

– When is the prospect most likely to give you the time you need?

– When should you contact the prospect again if your first efforts were not successful?

6. How? Only effectively used once you’ve already determined answers to the first five questions…

– How can you be sure that you are doing a thorough job of follow-up prospecting? (Look at the “Who?” questions again.)

– How can you use your prospecting time more productively? (The “Where?” questions can help you here.)

– How can you sharpen your prospecting and qualifying skills? (Review the “Why?” questions.)

– How can you best approach your prospects? (Think about the “What?” questions.)

– How can you make more time for meaningful prospecting and qualifying the leads you generate? (The “When?” questions will provide the answer.

Have a terrific week,

If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at 612-278-0223 or dan@mna.org