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Qualifying is...

 

Disciplines > Sales > Qualifying > Qualifying is...

 

The need to qualify

One of the biggest problems that sales people face every day is waste. In particular, wasting their own valuable time in chasing prospects who will never become customers. You can beaver away all day, talking to prospective customers for most of the time, and still go away empty-handed. Worse, you can spend ages chasing a few or even one prospect to no avail.

In the end, the only value you have created in such situations is negative, wasting your time, your employer's time and also the prospective customer's time. Yes, they may come back, but most of the time they won't, and fruitless hope is just another waste. In selling, you spend not just your time but also your emotions, so a lost sale is also wasted energy.

Definition

Qualifying is the process of assessing prospective customers to determine appropriate action.

This is usually to decide whether it is worth putting any effort into the sale. It also may to determine whether to visit the customer, conduct business over the phone or otherwise apportion effort proportional to the value that may be gained from the customer.

Qualification is a gatekeeping activity. When a customer is qualified, it passes over a defined threshold into a different state or level.

Types of qualifying

Qualifying in is the process of determining whether to initiate work on selling to the prospective customer, bringing them into the sales funnel. Once in the funnel you will be making potentially large investments in the customer in the hope of achieving closure.

Qualifying out is the process of deciding when to give up on a customer and eject them from the sales funnel. For various reasons this can be psychologically more difficult than qualifying in.

If you have various categories of customer you can also qualify them in and out and between these.

See also

Prospecting is...

 

Sales Books

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