Welcome to the 21st century: Buyer Advantage, Seller's Beware!
Think about it, can you afford to invest a lot of time and sales resources only to discover later in the sales process that you've been pursuing a suspect?
Even worse, discover you're investing resources in a suspect and not in a qualified prospect since you only had so much time or bandwidth and could not discern which was which!.
I doubt it!
Let's be honest, the pressure on profits and the rising cost of a sales calls dictate otherwise. And the most important action you can take to mitigate these is to maximize your investment of sale resources.
What does a qualified prospect look like?
1st, they have genuine INTEREST!
There is a definite need/requirement/goal of becoming a business owner, can articulate why they believe a franchise model will benefit them and going independent is less desirable, and can identify or see themselves in your product or service business.
2nd, they have the MONEY!
Whether it's self funding or 3rd parties, they have both the ability and more important, the will to invest.
3rd, they will make a buying DECISION!
There is a process in place, with timelines and defined decision makers to make a Yes or No decision.
In Ultimate Selling, we add some additional questions that are very straightforward and easy to ask early in the sales process and they provide additional insight as to what they will or will not do. It sounds something like this:
What is the actual date you want your business to open?
Trust me, if they can't articulate firm dates and reasons, it's your trigger to did deeper into the sales process. Is the problem that you are...?
Not dealing with the decision makers?
Using you for competitive reasons or leverage?
Ultimate Selling INSIGHT: If they don't have firm dates, they never have to make a decision and all too often, they won't. You know, it's these sales opportunities that keep moving out in your sales forecast!
Ultimate Selling INSIGHT: It may take multiple calls to qualify and that's OK.
But don't start the formal phase with presentation/proposal, until they are qualified. Educate, build relationships, discover more about them, etc..
And save your compelling sales story until they have a formal process for making a decision.
Go here to review exactly what you should be asking in the discovery process.
If you would like have more in depth knowledge about these critical sales steps, and many others, go to Ultimate Selling Solutions to purchase a hard copy book or download the book, Ultimate Selling, The Art and Science of Sales Success.
Or just connect with me on LinkedIn using my business card below.