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Qualifying in

 

Disciplines > Sales > Qualifying > Qualifying in

 

The first step in qualification is in qualifying in. This means deciding whether or not to talk at all with a prospective customer. In some ways, it is the most important stage: imagine how much more you would sell if most of your selling time led to a purchase.

One of the problems with qualifying-in is that you may have a large number of leads to filter down to the shortlist you will allow through the door.

Criteria

All choices use criteria with which to select, and it is a good idea to clarify what criteria you will use when qualifying in. For example this might include a sale value above a certain amount and a probability of closing the sale within a given timescale.

In the High Probability Selling approach, a key criterion is that the prospective customer is very likely to buy. This is particularly effective when you have many possible customers and are able to ask them key questions to determine their need and ability to buy.

Process

As well as criteria it is worth considering the process of qualification. This may include:

  • Gathering of data from reliable sources about the prospects.

  • Initial quick thinning down of obvious non-contenders.

  • Early phone call or visit to prospects to gain more detail about their situation, need and desire.

  • Scoring of contenders, for example using a Prioritization Matrix.

  • Follow up visit to get more information, for example to understand customer's internal buying process and political hurdles to overcome.

  • Passing off of lower value contenders to telesales.

  • Making the list of non-contenders available to other sales people.

This list is for a business-to-business selling. In retail sales the qualifying-in that decides which customer to approach is much simpler and includes:

  • Customer Body Language language that indicates readiness to buy.

  • Goods are being handled or examined.

  • Customer looking around seeking assistance.

  • Well-dressed person who looks affluent.

See also

Buying signals, Body Language

Review: High Probability Selling, Ready body language

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