How to Qualify a Sales Prospect & Opportunities

Many business leaders fall into the trap of casting too wide a net with their sales strategies. Successful salespeople, however, know that quality matters far more than quantity. To understand sales, you must first understand the makings of a good prospect. Learning how to qualify a sales prospect will save you time, energy, and resources in the long run. A woman looks through her fingers that symbolize how to qualify a sales prospect

Who Is a Good Prospect?

Good leadership is almost entirely about sales—whether you’re selling a product to your customers or selling your employees on a new idea. Although there are many different types of selling situations, the sales strategies involved are widely applicable. 

To become a better salesperson, you always need to fully understand the person you’re selling to, also known as the prospect. According to traditional sales techniques, the best prospects are those with a need for your product or service, the budget to pay for it, and the authority to purchase it.

Once you’ve identified a potential prospect, you need to evaluate them further to see if they’re genuinely going to be worth your time to pursue. Not every lead that sounds great on paper ends up translating to a closed deal. 

How Do Great Salespeople Find and Evaluate Prospects?

Finding potential prospects is just a matter of putting yourself out there. Depending on your industry, you can meet them in networking groups, at trade shows, on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, in local community groups, and more. Look for the places that your potential customers tend to gather and establish a presence there. 

Learning how to qualify a sales prospect is a bit trickier. Qualifying sales opportunities involves an intimate understanding of what makes each prospect tick. 

First, think about the obstacles they are facing. What gap does your product or service fill in their life? If you can’t answer that question, your prospect will likely not be interested in what you have to sell. Think about their fears and concerns, but also about their goals and priorities.

Next, recognize the best way to communicate with them. Different prospects have different communication styles, and the way you talk to one potential customer might be a complete turnoff for another. Think about what blind spots they might have, their likes and dislikes, and what type of person they seem to be. Will you be able to get through to them?

The final step in qualifying sales opportunities is to anticipate the obstacles that may prevent them from saying yes to your sales pitch. Are there financial concerns? Is their authority contingent on the agreement of outside parties? 

Too many obstacles will make it difficult for someone to be swayed. However, some blocks can be overcome. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth developing solutions to your potential prospect’s reservations to pursue the sale. 

Learning how to qualify a sales prospect is key to becoming a top salesperson. An experienced business coach can help you reevaluate your approach. Fill out my contact form, and we’ll schedule a call to discuss your sales tactics. 

Coach Dave


Dave Schoenbeck
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