This week I struggled at Wimp JunctionYou know, the place where you're asked to tell the prospect what you do or how you can help them before you know what they need and, most importantly, helped them discover what they want.
Frankly, I was dealing with prospects who were not qualified for other reasons than not having enough motivating trouble. In one instance, the prospect wasn't going to spend money he didn't have and in the instance I was dealing with someone who wasn't the decision maker she pretended to be. Their demands that they must first understand what I do before I understand what they do and do not do were stifling, smothering smokescreens.
In the first case, the prospect was justifying that his current plan of struggle and hard work was the right one and that there was "no magic bullet" that could dramatically improve his business. He'd been "burned before" as he had paid a large amount of money for sales training that he then decided he wasn't going to learn after a month or so of a 3-month program. In the second case, the prospect was quickly trying to figure out how to "sell" me to the real decision-makers as it made little personal impact on her income and only risked her credibility, even though she was "going to make the decision."
What I struggled with was a polite and nurturing way to communicate to increasingly frustrated prospects that they were wasting my time and theirs.
So what I did was to give them a little of what they wanted.
And that's where I wimped out. I presented before they were qualified.
Until the prospect is clear on what he wants and why he wants it and is committed to changing his current situation and has agreed on trading the necessary money, time and resources to making the change, you don't know if he's ready to buy.
So, what's the matter with telling your prospect what you can do for them, first?How can you accurately solve your prospect's problems if he hasn't clearly agreed on what they are and sold you on his commitment to change them. Why present a solution until you have a clear agreement on his decision making process? Who else will need to agree and what are their motivations and how will change affect or not effect them?
You've got one shot to keep their attention at every moment. Most people don't know what they need and why they want it. They're conditioned by not-so-great salespeople to listen to features and benefits and secretly and singly decide if it's a match to what they think they want. This often results in a lot of WASTED time and resources spent by the salesperson.
Other than keeping you busy, what's your cost of spending time with an unqualified prospect?
How do you work with only qualified prospects and, when you do, what's your success rate with the fewer prospects to whom you do show your goodies?