Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Are you qualifying your leads, or are they qualifying you?

When you generate leads for your business, the logical middle step before converting a sale for the product or service you provide is the 'qualification' stage, ie, finding out if you're a good match for each other! You got their attention, but do they want what you offer?

In the studio business, we each have an 'ideal client' that has the working style we want and need in order to perform to the highest goal-meeting ability. But so many times, especially in businesses that differentiate themselves on price, it's the CLIENT that does the qualifying, not the business.

Let me explain: you tell a prospect what you can provide for them in a proposal. They come back with a completely different idea of what you'll provide in a follow-up (usually based on the cost of your service).

At this point, do you renegotiate with their follow-up in mind, setting your goals aside and grasping on to whatever they want you to do as your guide? If so, you've let THEM qualify YOU.

If instead, you either go back to negotiations with your original goals in mind, but taking into account some of their needs in their follow-up, or you just say, "Thank you, but we're not right for each other", then YOU'VE qualified (or disqualified) THEM.

You have to be the captain of your own ship in business, and taking time with clients who aren't your ideal takes time away from generating, qualifying, and converting those that are. Make sure your marketing and communication language always maintains the integrity of your business goals, and you'll spend far less time courting the ones that aren't right for you.

Start learning how to do this (and so much more), by reading The Answer.

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