Leads are useless if they don’t go anywhere. Imagine you are a police officer attempting to solve a crime. When everything is said and done, the only leads that count are the ones that lead you to a successful arrest. In business, it’s the same – a lead must bring you to a sale, otherwise it’s worthless. In order to avoid spending time on worthless leads, here’s how to qualify them like a professional.
Step 1: Make a Qualifying Call
First off, you need to get in touch to follow up on this lead. It should only take you ten minutes to qualify a lead in a phone call, so you’re going to need to make this quick. Why? Because according to research by MarketSherpa, only 80% of leads end in sales – so you need to avoid wasting time. Make the call, and position yourself as the person making the decision here.
Step 2: Build Context
Now it’s time to ask some important questions. Find out how they found your company, and why they decided to approach you, as this can be key – a casual interest will not yield the same results as a determined search for someone to solve their problems. You can also find out at this stage if they are in the target niche that you normally serve. If they aren’t, it may be time to cut the call short.
Step 3: Focus on Goals
Talk to your lead about the goals for their company and where they are aiming to be, as well as asking what it is that prevents them from getting there. This is a key opportunity for you to reinforce the fact that they are in a position to be served by your solution – you could be the service that gets them from where they are now to where they want to be by removing the obstructions in their way. Again, this is a good way to find out whether you can actually help them or not.
Step 4: Ask, Don’t Tell
What do they expect from you? Ask them, instead of trying to tell them what you are offering. If you miss the mark, you could lose this lead just when it was starting to look positive. If they are expecting something that you can reasonably offer, all is good. If they are expecting something you can’t or won’t do, then the offer will not be on the table and you can end the call.
Step 5: Qualify Further
Now it’s time to really get down to it. Do they need to fix this problem as soon as possible? If yes, then they are likely to buy – but if it’s a problem that will only become urgent in the future, they may become a cold lead. Finding out about budget could be possible here if you feel it is appropriate within the context of your conversation so far.
Step 6: Close the Lead
Now it’s time to bring the call to an end, and if you have qualified them as a great lead, it’s time to close the sale. Listen closely throughout the call so that you can feed back to them what you can provide in a way that fits their goals and needs, and why your solution is the one that will help them to get there. This is key – and then it’s time to move them on to your sales process.
With this ten-minute call, you have qualified a lead just like a pro: quickly and efficiently, with the maximum of sales exposure. If you can’t work with them, consider referring them on to build goodwill. Either way it goes, it’s a win-win situation on your – and your client’s – side. Good luck!
About the Author: Sophia Mest is a Content Manager atBizDb, where she aspires to put her writing passion into practice and spread her words across the world. She spends her free time travelling and exploring the wonders of nature.