Qualifying: Finding their Level of Interest

07
Jul

Once we have found our prospect, it is important to understand why and how to qualify him to determine his level of interest.  What are the different levels of interest?  Does this prospect Require (need) a product/service like ours?  For example, if the prospect is a nurse, he or she would need a watch with a highly visible way to see the seconds in order to take a patient’s pulse.  Does this prospect Desire (want but not need) a product/service like ours?  For example, if the prospect has a watch that is old and wants a new one.  Does this prospect Admire (wishes for but it is beyond what he needs or wants) a product/service like ours?  For example, if the prospect is a businessperson and wishes his watch would convey an image of success, not just tell the time.

How can a salesperson determine the level of interest in a prospect?  In the process of qualifying a prospect, well-thought-out and well-practiced questions are vital.  Following are some strategic “word tracks” that will demonstrate how a professional salesperson (as compared to an order taker) could qualify a prospect while at the same time prepare a prospect to be taken up to an even better product.  The first questions are purely to identify the level of interest, while the last question is to “up sell.”  After identifying the level of interest, a final question follows, using the design of the great Larry Wilson.  He called this technique “PDQ.”  “PDQ” means: Preview the benefits aimed at the prospect’s Dominant desire in the form of a Question.  Here is some sample dialogue:

Nurse: “I am interested in buying a watch, please.”

Salesperson (Interest Qualifier): “Do you have something specific in mind?”

Nurse: “Yes, I am a nurse and I need to be able to easily see the seconds so I can take a patient’s pulse.”

Salesperson (Money Qualifier): “What do you feel you would pay for such a watch?”

Nurse:  “I am not certain, but I believe something like $30.”

Salesperson (PDQ):  “If you could have a watch that was not only easy to read the seconds but because it has an internal light you would be able to read it in very poor light, would you be willing to pay a few dollars more?”

Nurse: “That sounds like a good idea, yes, I would.”

Salesperson (Close): “Here is our Timex Indiglow for only $39.95.  Will this be cash or charge?”

An order taker may have sold the regular Timex for $30.  By taking more interest in the needs of the prospect, by knowing the product line and by knowing good sales techniques, the sales PRO increased his gross sale by 33%, while more than satisfying his prospect!  Here is another example:

Prospect: “I am interested in buying a watch, please.”

Salesperson (Interest Qualifier): “Do you have something specific in mind?”

Prospect: “Not really, I just want to replace this old watch.”

(Any number of additional Interest Qualifying questions could be asked here to determine any specific features that the replacement watch could or should have.  After the salesperson has narrowed the product line, he would ask his Money Qualifier question.)

Salesperson: “What do you feel you would pay for such a watch?”

Prospect: “I am not certain, but I would think about $75.”

Salesperson (PDQ): “If you could have a watch that not only had ALL of the features you said you wanted but it would also come with a lifetime guarantee on the crystal and the inner workings, would you be willing to pay a little more?”

Prospect: “That sounds like a good idea, yes, I would.”

Salesperson (Close): “Here is our Brand X that meets all of your needs plus it comes with the lifetime guarantee I mentioned.  The investment is only $99.95.  Will that be cash or charge?”

Another sample dialogue:

Salesperson (Interest Qualifier): “I noticed you admiring our Rolex watches.  Would you like to try one on?”

Businessperson: “No, I do not really need a new watch.  I just wish my watch had the image of success that comes with a Rolex.”

Salesperson (Interest Generator): “Do you believe that by wearing a Rolex your clients or potential clients would have more confidence in you?”

Businessperson: “Well yes, I believe they probably would.”

Salesperson (Interest Magnifier): “Would that higher degree of confidence in you give you an advantage in generating additional business?”

Businessperson: “There may be times when it could.”

Salesperson (Financial Qualifier): “How much additional business would you need to generate to create the extra income to purchase the Rolex?”

Businessperson: “Well actually, it would take two contracts that I may not have gotten otherwise.”

Salesperson (Terms Qualifier): “If that were possible, what period of time do you think that would take?”

Businessperson: “I think that during a two year period, I would probably be able to acquire two additional sales because of the Rolex that I might not have gotten otherwise.”

Salesperson (PDQ Close Combo): “Mr. Businessperson, we have very generous terms available that would allow you to begin wearing the world’s finest watch today while you allow it to pay for itself over the next two years.  If we could give you the image you are looking for today by putting this Rolex on your wrist, would you prefer the Oyster or the Presidential model?”

Will these prospect-qualifying word tracks work every time?  Of course not.  I am not aware of anything that works all the time.  However, understanding the strategy of using qualifying questions will help all the time.  Memorizing prospect-qualifying word tracks will help all the time.  Having the commitment to solving our prospect’s needs while simultaneously improving our sales results will help all the time!


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