How to Qualify a Prospect: The Checklist You Need

checklist for qualifying leads

Are you tired of wasting time and money on prospects who aren’t a good fit for your business? It’s time to create a qualification process! This blog post will discuss the steps you need to take to qualify a prospect before meeting them. By following this checklist, you’ll be able to weed out unqualified leads and focus on those most likely to convert into paying customers.

1. What is Qualification

Qualification is assessing a prospect to see if they fit your product or service. This involves determining whether or not the lead needs your offering and whether or not they are likely to convert into a paying customer. It’s important to remember that qualification is not about disqualifying prospects; it’s about ensuring that only those most likely to succeed become your buyers.

2. Why Qualify a Prospect

There are several reasons why you should qualify a prospect. Firstly, qualifying leads will help you save time and money. By focusing on those buyers who are most likely to convert, you’ll avoid wasting resources on those not suitable for your business.

Secondly, qualifying leads will help you better understand your target market. By understanding who your ideal client is, you’ll be able to create more targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to succeed.

Finally, a qualification process will help you close more sales. By focusing on qualified prospects, you’ll be able to increase your close rate and improve your overall sales numbers.

3. The Process of Qualifying a Prospect

There are a few key factors you’ll need to consider when qualifying a prospective customer:

– Need: Does the prospect need your product or service?

– Budget: Does the prospect have the budget to purchase your product or service?

– Authority: Does the prospect have the authority to make a purchasing decision?

– Timeline: Does the prospect have an immediate need for your product or service?

If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, the prospect is likely right for your business. If you can’t reply “yes” to all of these questions, you may want to reconsider pursuing the lead.

4. Let Technology Help you Qualify a Prospect

Let’s talk about pre-qualification! It would be best to have prospective customers fill out a survey (free consultation application) before granting appointments.

An application is a beneficial tool. It can help your prospect get clear on what they need. By filling out a survey, they will be able to provide you with information about their needs and budget without taking too much of your 1:1 time.

If you’re a service professional, it’s helpful to ask them:

1) Have they ever worked with someone in your industry before?

2) What is their intended start date?

3) What is their monthly budget?

4) Who are the decision-makers?

5) Where did they hear about you? (This is excellent data for your marketing ROI tracking)

Why should prospects apply for a free consultation?

Your time is limited! And, you shouldn’t be expected to give free consultations to everyone who asks. This pre-qualification step weeds out people who want to “pick your brain.”

Once you receive applications, send a reply within 24-48 hours. If the person doesn’t meet your needs, send a kind, “Thank you but no.” message. If the person meets your pre-qualification needs, it’s time to invite them to book an appointment with you.

What’s the purpose of a free consultation?

The purpose of the consultation is to see if there’s a fit between you and the prospect. It’s an opportunity for you to get to know each other and determine if you want to work together.

If, after the consultation, you decide that this project isn’t going to work, then it’s best to part ways. Provide alternative resources. Or wait a day to determine what solution would be a good compromise.

Qualifying your prospects ensures that you’re investing your limited time with decision-makers who are more likely to purchase. Using surveys and applications can save you a lot of time and energy while increasing your close rate.

What happens if the person wants free help with no intention to purchase?

Hopefully, your process should have weeded out these leads in the pre-qualification process. If not, you can certainly feel this energy during your call.

The question is, do you feel confident enough to end the conversation? This is hard! But remember, the purpose of the call isn’t to give a free solution or two. The purpose of the call is to see if this lead is right for you, they see you as the solution provider, and they’re willing to purchase.

Politely tell them that free resources or a low-cost solution is outside the scope of today’s call.

What happens if the person shows up without their co-decision maker?

If they forgot to bring their co-decision maker and apologize for it, then reschedule the call for another day. However, if they’re not apologetic or try to explain their decision maker’s absence, that should be a warning sign. This lead is still collecting information about you and your competitors, or they’re not ready to make a purchase.

No matter what, don’t go forward with the conversation! Politely reschedule.

What happens if the person doesn’t have the budget for your solution?

If the person doesn’t have the budget for your solution, you might be able to provide a less expensive option (perhaps your signature offer with bonuses) or refer them to resources who can help. If they’re not a good fit for your business, you can politely end the conversation.

I prefer to keep them and provide a resource that meets their budget. Make sure that you feel good about your offer and not overdelivering. Once they experience working with you and are satisfied, they will likely find a way to pay for future projects.

Remember, your bonuses should be designed to address their objections.

Sales objections are why a lead does not buy a product or service. There are countless reasons your prospects might not buy, but some of the most common objections in sales include price, quality, need, and urgency.

A good salesperson will be prepared to answer all of a customer’s objections and close the sale. Strategically, a great salesperson will design bonuses that overcome objections.

I would recommend the tool Dubsado to help you qualify leads. Dubsado is an authority in its industry and makes the process so convenient. It’s a CRM (customer relationship management) software that enables you to keep track of your prospects and customers. It also has a built-in form builder, so you can easily create forms to collect information from your prospects.

Plenty of the steps are automated, from marketing to collecting applications to sending proposals, contracts, and invoices. The more streamlined you are, the more you can focus on having great sales conversations with prospects who are more likely to buy from you.

In Conclusion

Qualifying your prospects is essential to saving time and energy while increasing your close rate. By using applications, you can pre-qualify leads before investing your valuable time in a consultation call. If prospects show up without their co-decision maker or don’t have the budget for your solution, it’s best to end the conversation politely. Having a system lets you focus on having great sales conversations with prospects who are more likely to buy from you.

Would you like to talk?

Apply for a free consultation using this link here. I’d love to talk with you and see how I can help you create a vital qualification process. Time is limited! And it’s important to reserve time for those that will more likely close.

Published by Janet Johnson, MBA | Small Business Coach

Janet Johnson is the author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Finding & Making More Money. Before becoming a coach, Janet gained seventeen years of experience in a family-owned manufacturing company. She also trained small business owners in Financial Management and Lean Enterprise through contracts with the State of Connecticut and the Small Business Administration for seven years.

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