Qualifying Prospects: Five Ways to Make Sure Your Leads Are Worth Something

For some, it’s as intuitive as a ‘feeling.’ Others rely on an analysis of variables that has nothing to do with instinct. However you do it, every sales person worth his or her salt has some method for qualifying leads. Here are five points that our Chicago area sales reps consider when they’re pursuing new business.

  • Focus. Do you know who you’re looking to sell to in the first place? Save time and increase your chances of closing by pursuing a targeted population that best fits your services or product—and may currently be underserved by other options.
  • Need. Does the prospect have a real and immediate need for your product or service? If not, then they don’t really have any reason to buy what you’re selling. If they do, it’s up to you to show them exactly how you can solve that problem for them, making their lives easier, their business more profitable…etc. etc.
  • Fit. Is the client or the client’s company a good fit for a relationship with you or your company? Need and focus are a good place to start here, but you’ll need to get to know your prospect a little better to really get a handle on whether or not you mesh with them.
  • Money. This is key. Will the prospect be able to pay in full? They may be all in until they get the first bill, so pay close attention for signs that their business isn’t making enough money to pay you or that there may be financial troubles down the road.
  • Power. Are you selling to the person who can make the buying decision? Ultimately, the person you need to convince to buy your product or service is the one who can either write the check, or tell someone else to do it. Pay close attention to your prospect’s position in their business to ensure you’re spending your efforts on someone who can hold up their end of the bargain.

It’s not rocket science, and in fact, this list probably seems pretty intuitive even if today’s your first day in sales. As Chicago-area sales recruiters, we know that the strongest candidates keep all of these elements in mind when prospecting.

What’s your approach to qualifying your leads?