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The Art of Selling – Stage 2: Qualified Prospect

If your contact is the right person to be associated with the opportunity; and there is a confirmed fit between your solution and their company; and there is confirmation of need; you’ve qualified the prospect.

KNOW the answer to every one of these questions to satisfy the stage of Qualified Prospect: 

THINK, you are a sales person. And everyone at the client knows that, which means they are all predisposed to their opinions about sales people from long before you walked into the room. You have about 90 seconds to slip into that mold or break it. I call this the “Elephant in the Room.” And the best way to deal with an elephant in the room, something everyone sees and pretends to ignore, is to point it out with a shout and an exclamation point! 

It is essential to acknowledge that you are a sales person, but that you also have value to share. You should aim to earn the right to pitch rather than simply assume that you have a laptop and they have a projector so you have the right to pitch. Communicate that you know you need to deliver value first, earn credibility and then if and only if they agree, pitch your product or service.

ACT – when you kick off, confirm your contact and their role. Confirm upfront that there is a business need – does the contact agree? And confirm timing – does the contact want to investigate this with you now? And lastly, confirm budget-source and owner as well as visibility to it? These are all crucial to ascertaining whether you are a benchmark conversation, fishing expedition or a genuine sale potential.

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