There is an iron law in sales that requires that you create value for your dream clients (or prospects) in every interaction. You are trading the value you create for their most precious commodities, their time and attention.
When you disrespect the gift that is your dream client’s time and attention, you violate that iron law, and you alienate your dream client.
Breaking the Law
There are certain questions that create no value for your prospective client. Let’s review a few of them now.
- “Do you have budget?” If this is your first time speaking with a prospective client, you have done an outstanding job making sure that they know you are qualifying them. You have also established yourself as self-oriented, and you have established your company as not-very-thoughtful.
- “Are you the person who would be making the decision to purchase?” You’re telegraphing your intentions here, aren’t you? This isn’t really a very good question early in a relationship. As a percentage, it creates exactly 0.0 percent value for your dream client.
- “How soon are you thinking about making a purchase decision?” For some reason, you believe that you have to have a fully qualified, ready-to-buy lead to pass onto the salesperson with whom you work.
The reason you have trouble qualifying early in the conversation is because it is unnatural and because it subtracts value.
Ignorance of the Law is No Defense
If you can’t create value by identifying where your dream client is in their buying journey and addressing their needs there, they are right to refuse any request you make to move forward—with you or the person to whom you are supposed to be handing them to.
If the salesperson who is supposed to receive this “qualified” lead can’t create value where your dream client is at the end of your conversation because you’ve done too much value creating, then they need to work much harder to pick up where you left off.
Whatever your role is in sales, that role requires you to make every prospective client interaction valuable for them. You can do this and do the qualifying work you need to do, even if it requires you learn to ask more artful questions, and even if you have to teach and train your salesperson how to create additional value.