Boxers can lose a fight before they even get in the ring. So can salespeople. A sale can be lost before you even step into the selling ring. It all starts with your perception of your prospects.
Are You Destroying Your Own Sales?
Knowing the difference between Qualifying and Judging prospects is critical. And if you’re pre-judging prospects before having a conversation with them, you’ve already lost that sale before you even spoke to them. Here’s a distinction each salesperson needs to be acutely mindful whether you’re JUDGING your prospects or QUALIFYING them to ensure you’re not selling yourself out of a sale.
If you’re pre-judging prospects before having a conversation, you’ve already lost that sale.
When You JUGE Prospects:
Your decision will always be based on costly assumptions and prior experiences, without asking the questions that uncover the facts, their needs and objectives, and if they’re truly a fit. This will immediately create the self-imposed objections and barriers to more sales.
You are relying on your faulty and costly assumptions, beliefs, and experiences to determine their needs and whether or not this prospect is someone who will potentially buy from you.
It prevents proactive, intentional listening because of the filter or barrier you have placed in your listening.
Because you’ve pre-judged them, you’ve already had the qualifying conversation in your own mind, rather than with the prospect and have formulated your own conclusion! (“They’re all the same.”)
Judging is all about you, and whether or not you can selfishly benefit from each sale, instead of selflessly serving others with no attachment to the outcome. Because you’re focused on your past experiences and beliefs and your personal agenda, you’re not focused on the moment but on the future outcome you want.
And if you’re focused on the future outcome you want, you’re no longer present. If you’re not present, you can’t actively listen, create new solutions, and focus on the needs of the prospect. It’s essential to be present. Only then can you make each prospect your priority and uncover how you can deliver extreme value to them. Besides, the sale is created in the PRESENT not the FUTURE.
When you QUALIFY Prospects:
You’re arriving at a logical conclusion whether there’s an authentic fit worth pursuing based on a defined set of criteria that identifies your ideal prospect, which you then uncover through the use of well-crafted, open-ended questions.
These objective, non-manipulative questions will uncover their unique and specific needs, without making any assumptions about their situation, buying process, decision-making factors, or the solutions that fit for them.
To avoid falling into the judgmental trap, keep your qualifying questions in front of your line of vision, always. Regardless of how long you’ve been selling or how successful you are at selling, this will prevent you from missing that one critical question that will prevent you from derailing the conversation with assumptions and instead, keep you on the path to winning more sales.
A globally recognized authority on sales and leadership and the pioneer of executive sales coaching and management coach training, Keith Rosen is the CEO of
ProfitBuilders, named one of the Best Sales Training and Coaching Company Worldwide. Keith has delivered his programs to hundreds of thousands of salespeople and managers in practically every industry; on five continents and in over 70 countries. Keith is one of the first out of only a handful of coaches who earned the distinguished Master Certified Coach designation credentialed through the International Coach Federation.