As a sales person needing a commission and to hit quota, we are usually in a mode where we are telling sales prospects why our products are the right product for them. But if the sales opportunity is not moving in the direction or at the speed that you would like, it can be powerful to do the opposite and disqualify the prospect by questioning if our product is the right fit for them.
New Car Example
Let’s take an example of a new car shopper to display how this could work. The prospect has been looking at cars, done the research, completed the test driving, and narrowed the choice to one car. She has expressed interest but is hesitant to move forward to the next step in the process which is to purchase.
At this point the momentum and speed of the sales cycle has slowed so the sales person has three options:
1. Do nothing: The sales person could do nothing and let the prospect manage the speed and direction. This can lead to getting stuck in “idle land” which could result in more time being wasted on both sides and increase the probability of “no decision”.
2. Push harder: The sales person could push harder and try to sell more aggressively to the prospect. The risk here is that, if there is internal confliction going on in the sales prospect, then by pushing harder could push them away.
3. Disqualify: When the sales person notices the hesitation and confliction, they can disqualify by mentioning that maybe the purchase is not right. After this is done, if the purchase is a good fit, the sales prospect will begin to respond by selling on why it is a good fit and get through their hesitation.
As you can see from those options, disqualifying a prospect when they show resistance or hesitation can be a very powerful sales tactic. Below are some of the key benefits from doing this at the right time in sales opportunities:
When you do this on a qualified prospect with genuine interest and authority to buy, when you push them away by disqualifying, they will typically come back by selling you on why it makes sense. By the prospect selling you, this can take a deal that is either not moving or moving backward and create new momentum.
Uncover New Information
When a sales prospect begins to sell you after a disqualification, you will stand to uncover new information as they will likely communicate in their own words why it makes sense and that could uncover new details on their needs and how they stand to benefit.
By disqualifying a sales prospect, you will take a huge stride in the area of establishing credibility. This is powerful as the typical sales person will opt to be more aggressive in a scenario where they sense hesitation. By you disqualifying, not only do you stand out from the competition, but you also appear to be putting the interests of the prospect before your own interests of closing a deal.
Michael Halper is an ICF certified coach that works with individuals and organizations helping to drive growth and improvement. For more information about coaching and development visit Compass Coaching you can read more about Disqualifying Sales Prospects or Sales Coaching.
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