By: Alex Mellett

How to qualify your leads quickly, and quickly get prospects to turn into customers.

Most sales/marketing folk know that the sale only really starts when the customer says no, but how do we know when it’s time to say “on to the next one”?

How many times have you spent an hour (or even multiple hours…gasp), crafting a carefully written email, only for it to be ignored completely or responded with the dreaded “no thank you”. For me, if I’m being honest, I have done this far too often.

In an effort to stop wasting time and get to the customers who are actually interested AND have a need my product offering can fulfill, I have adopted the ideology of one of the great philosophers of our time, Jay-Z.

This probably won’t be new information to anyone reading this blog, but the goal of prospecting is to identify (i.e. qualify) if the prospect is a fit for the product you are offering.

This implies that most prospects won’t be a fit for your product offering. Getting told “no” all day long can be demoralizing, but remember, every “no” you get brings you one step closer to the right prospect!

Getting told “no” all day long can be demoralizing, but remember, every “no” you get brings you one step closer to the right prospect!

If your product is as great as you say it is, it should practically sell itself. Your responsibility as a salesperson is to present and position the product to the prospect in their language, in a way that addresses their specific business needs.

You can’t sell to a prospect who has no interest in what you have to offer, or doesn’t give you the time of day on your calls/emails. Don’t beat your head against a brick wall if the prospect is not responsive, it may simply be a bad time of the year for them.

If you do get in touch with them, don’t waste their or your time; ask questions, listen, understand your customer’s language and speak it back to them in return so they know you are listening. If you don’t feel your product is a good fit after some conversation, it’s on to the next one.

This does not mean you never call the prospect again, but make good notes in your CRM and follow up next quarter/year/etc… Keep the relationship going and be good with follow up so the customer trusts you and maybe even looks forward to the next time you call.

Now that I’m finished ranting, here are some action steps we can take!

  1. Keep emails short and to the point, with direct and easy to understand questions/actions you are requesting
  2. View each prospect as on-going relationship, and not simply binary “yes” or “no”. This means having some conversation even after they say “no”. Ask qualifying questions that will help in the following months as you check in with the prospect in the future to see if anything has changed
  3. You are in sales, you are going to hear “no thank you” a lot, like, A LOT. Knowing when it’s on to the next one will reduce the likelihood of getting burnt out and increase your overall happiness as you set your expectations properly

Happy selling!