How to Prequalify Your Prospects for Successful Sales

By Jennifer Hall | Podcast

Feb 19

Fed up of taking calls with less than ideal prospects, brain pickers, and time wasters? Do your calls feel really icky and awkward?

Fear not, it’s time to get a pre-qualification strategy in place…

In this episode we cover –

  • How to prequalify your prospects in three simple stages to ensure you ONLY speak to the best people.
  • Turn your calls into a sales success without that icky and awkward feeling.
  • The red flags you should look out for when prequalifying AND the surprising red flag that you should ignore.

Useful Links:-

Book a Call with Jen  – bit.ly/claritycallpodcast

Send your emails to jen@jen-hall.com

Read Full Transcript

Please note this transcript is machine generated so it is not perfect and should be used for reference only, you will get the best from the podcast by listening to it in it's designed format.

(00:00):
Are your prospects qualified to work with you? In this episode we're talking all around how to prequalify your prospects so that you only get the right people on your calls and into your products and services.

(00:23):
Hello, this is Jen Hall here, your business positioning coach and market leadership expert. I hope you are well on this fine day. So today's episode is all around pre-qualifying your prospects and ensuring that your prospects are qualified to actually work with you. And I'll explain more about that in just a moment. At the moment me and Andy are looking to get a new kitchen fitted so we were going to get a kitchen extension and we've decided to postpone that due to various reasons, including not being able to deal with the upheaval until the year after next. However, we are looking to get a new kitchen regardless because I cannot live in the kitchen that we currently have at the moment. We moved in August last year and we have been living with a kitchen that's from the 1970s. It's literally falling apart. The fridge door opens will opened cause we had to get, we did have to buy a new secondhand one to tide us over because it was literally like pollute in the front from the front.

(01:28):
The hinges came off. It was, it was just getting down, man. So enough's enough with a 1970s kitchen and in with the new until we decide to actually do the fertile an extension on the house. So we've been ringing around the kitchen extension people to this kitchen, so fitter people to see who would be able to do this job for us. And we're not everyone's cup of tea to work with. And the reason is, is because exactly that we're looking to up a kitchen and then we're going to rip it out again and put it back in, into the new extension. So we know everyone's favorite cup of tea and that kind of job would perhaps scare some people, put people off, they can't be bothered. It's not something they would do, specialize in and so and so forth.

(02:12):
We've realized very quickly that we're going to have to go with a more specialized kitchen fitter who's going to be able to kind of foresee those issues and preplanned and then stay with us again. But when we need to get them back in again to repeat back out, to put it back in again. All good fun. So there's lots of things to think about. And so it's important that those kitchen fetters pre-qualify us as clients to ensure that they're happy to do the work and that we're all gonna get on okay. And that the result for both of us is going to be fine because some of the more, I guess, standardized fitters that there are out there that work with the likes of ran kitchens and so on and so forth aren't probably used to the type of that we're about to do.

(03:00):
This probably isn't very not a normal situation if anyone else's, it's is planning to do the same thing. I'd love to know that I'm not the only loony out there that's looking to do this, but it's important that they make sure that we're with the right customers for them, so that there is a mutual success and there is a mutual successful relationship that's going to move forward when the process starts happening. So prequalification is very important to make sure that you're both a good match for each other. Back in the day I used to speak to a lot of people who weren't, we weren't a good match to work for each other. They didn't like me, God forbid would anyone dislike me who I am a terrible, isn't it? But it's true.

(03:45):
You know, I, not everybody gels with me. No Everybody likes how I work and how I do things. I'm not for everybody. And so that's important as well to understand can you work together? I took calls of people who didn't like me. I took calls with people who weren't ready to work with me. I've taken calls of people who definitely weren't a right fit and I'm just going to leave out that I'm not going to go into any details or names. But you get what I'm saying, right guys, you understand where I'm going with this, that we end up putting people through who aren't the right fit and we end up wasting everyone's time including their hours and hours trying to take calls and work things out and make things fit and when in fact, actually by putting down boundaries and expectations and prequalification process, we can avoid a lot of that and save a lot of time and energy.

(04:42):
Now, if after listening to this episode, you would like to actually get on a call with me and by doing that go is, by the way, you will also see my prequalification questionnaire, which is before you book a call. Then please do, because I'd love to speak to you about working together, moving forward and seeing how we can start to find you high paying clients at a high ticket price and becoming the market leader who is a number one choice in your fields. If that sounds good to you, then do book call using the link that's in the show notes, but that is bit.ly/claritycallpodcast. So you can go there and click the link advocate call in. I would love to speak to you.

(05:32):
And again, you'll also be able to see that prequalification questionnaire as well and have a little nosy about the types of things I put in that too. So one of the first things I want to tackle around all your prospects qualified to work with you is the integrity issue. So I'm going to come into the nuts and bolts of things in a moment. But the first thing I want to tackle is this is all you're selling the right product, the right thing for them? Because I've seen this happen a lot. And it comes from a place of desperation. It comes from a place sometimes of naivety and blinkered ignorant thinking. And I say that with all the love in my heart, but it's true. So many people do this and it's basically selling people into products and services that aren't right for them at that time or at all.

(06:27):
We speak to certain sales coaches, by the way, not Jessica Lorimer. If you get to speak to a particular specialized sales coach, Jessica Lorimer is the one you speak to, but you see some people who rave about sales, making sure you get the sale. Now, yes, that's great for your business, but it's not great for the person and it's also not great for your continued working relationship and possibly testimonials and reputations, so on and so forth. If you're bringing people through the process. I know if I have to drag someone through a sales process, after working with jazz, I'm a pretty good salesperson. Like gosh, I'm miles ahead of where I used to be with sales. However, I will not drag someone through a sales process because if I have to drag them through, even though I could, is going to be dragging them through the rest of the program, that I'm also going to be doing as well.

(07:24):
And I don't want to do that. I want people who are primed and ready and motivated, want change and understand the value of what I'm offering before they get on the call. So I did an episode of, I think it was episode 14 around making sure that you are converting clients before they get on the call. And I talk more about that in there. But that's my better approach and my most ideal outcome is to have people on the call who are ready to go, who are people who are prequalified, who are motivated or converted to say yes before they get on the call. Yes, they might not be 100% converted. That's why they're on the call, but they're pretty much, they're excited and they love the love what I do, they've heard my content, they've seen read or content and they're like, no, this is the person I want to work with and I just want to get, be reassured and cross the T's dot the I's and make sure that everything is hunky Dory.

(08:25):
Those are the types of situations that I like dealing with. What I don't like to see is people get taken onto a sales call and given a great sales pitch and pulled through to saying yes to something that actually isn't the best fit for them right now. And the person on the end of the phone doesn't know any better. They're not in the strongest position because they, they're, they're looking to you for your expert advice. And if they're being given the wrong advice and they're being pulled in then it's not gonna be great. I've been on the bad end of that stick and I know some of you have also been there too. The majority of my listeners don't do that. But I think it's important to raise awareness of it because I see it happen so much and I just wanted to kind of mention that, that that's bad.

(09:16):
That's a bad thing to do. We don't want to be doing that with people. It's not about getting the sale, it's about sending people into the right things for them to ensure that they get that transformational result. That's what integrity is all about. It's getting that good fit for both of you. People don't like to be sold to. Yes. That's shoe mine of what all of sales is. Don't assume everyone wants nor needs your product. It's making sure that you are very clear on your side of things, who it is you help. How you help them, what problem it is that you solve and what outcome it is that you helped them achieve. Be really clear on those three things and also be very clear on what stage that person needs to be at.

(10:08):
Are they in, is this for newbies or is this for this for somewhere one further along the mine, will they needed to have certain criterias mat in order for you to work with them, you need to be clear on those things before people stop hearing or phone calls or even booking a phone call potentially. You need to be clear on those boundaries or even the fact that they're going to go straight to buy a product. And for me there are three stages of pre-qualification. There's probably more, but it's the easiest way to explain it to you guys. And the first is through your content. So last I just mentioned is being clear on your end, who are you helping? What problem outcome are you solving for that specific person? What are you specializing in?

(10:57):
And to make sure that those people match that criteria. And you can do that through your content. So you're going to be writing content around the kind of person that you help run the problems that you solve around the outcomes that you helped them achieve. And you can put that in your content. You can also put that on sales pages. That's going to make that very clear around making sure that that, you know, tick, tick, tick. Yes, that's me, that's my problem. That's what I want. This is looking good. And then you could even have a section I say you could, you should have a section on this is not for, and then you can list all the things that the type of person that isn't meant for this program. And that can be both mindset wise and practically. So it can be for those who want to chuck money at something, for instance, and won't expect things to work.

(11:46):
This is not for you because this requires your effort, your work, so and so forth. It could also be practically, so for instance, for me, sometimes this is meant for people who have already had clients and have a proven product sells or something like that that might be on a sales page somewhere for one of my programs. You could put that, this is for after that you put this is for and then you can start laying out all of the criteria. Again, mindset wise and practically wise of who it is for. Which could be include people who have been in business X amount of years, people, who are suffering from X heart condition. It could be anything, but it's making sure that you are setting out those expectations and those boundaries from the outset on who it's for and who it's not for.

(12:39):
And you can do that on your sales pages. You could do that through your content. And you can also do it through your content via showing opinions. Because at the end of the day, like I said, I spent a lot of time talking to people who didn't like me. And that's because I wasn't getting out there with my opinions. They were starting to see a side of me that they hadn't seen before and they didn't like it. They wanted a softly, softly approach. And that's not me. I'm very hard down the line. I don't mess about with my feedback. It's always very, very honest, always coming from a very good place, always coming from a place of experience. But I don't mince my words and that's not for everybody. And so if my content doesn't reflect that that way, my style and it doesn't reflect the types of opinions I have on certain things than perhaps we're not going to jail when we work together.

(13:29):
So a great way of pre-qualifying and making sure you're bringing on the right kind of following and that actually that you're following or engaged and that you start always creating a movement of a certain type of person, sharing your opinions and your content is a great way to start sifting out the wheat from the chaff. The second level of prequalification is through prequalification questionnaire. Before they get on the call. You need to make sure before every call that you take people through this step because if you don't, you are going to end up in a situation, as I said, speaking to people who are brain picking, speaking to people who potentially think that this is a free call to get information when actually it's a sales call and that's not great for either of you. So these prequalification questionnaires are great for setting out those kinds of expectations.

(14:19):
So it doesn't feel icky. One of the reasons why we feel icky when it comes to taking courses because we feel like they want something from us and we don't want to give it to them for free, but then you feel obligated to in that you do. Then you get resentful and it's the whole yucky situation is just ick. So the best way is to make sure that in that prequalification questionnaire that you lay out exactly what is expected on that call and what you are going to do. And I have an extensive list of and expectations on my call questionnaire that people have to take to say that they understand that they understand this call is to determine whether we are a great fit to work together. That they understand that if at the end of that call I think they would be a good fit for one of my programs, that I will offer those to them, that they understand that if they are not a great fit, that I will turn them away and perhaps refer them elsewhere or whatever.

(15:16):
It's all very, very clear from the outset. So they come onto that call fully aware of what that call's about, what's to be expected. And they also have that magical question on there, which is around finance is that, do you have access to funds? Do you have funds right now to grow your business or you don't have funds? And so I'm able to get a gauge. Now, it's really interesting because I have a few different questions on here and there are some red flags where I won't take a course or whatever. So we have other questions that I ask in there to kind of determine where people are at where the clarity is on their business and kind of what their challenges are and so on and so forth. And I also have a question around how committed they are to achieving the goals that they've put down.

(16:02):
Now interestingly enough, I will take calls of people who say that they don't have access to funds because a lot of the time people pick that because they don't want to be sold to. Now. I will still take the call in that instance and it will be something that we'll bring up at the very beginning of the phone call to say, Hey, I see that you've put this down. As you understand, this call is about working with me so what we can do in this call today is going to be limited, but what we can do is ascertain where you're at and what we might be able to do in the future. And I tend to keep those calls quite short and sweet. And less, at the end that that starts to look as if they're interested in that.

(16:43):
They're wanting to find out more about the products. And actually a lot of the time, I was probably say 50% of the time people have still jumped on board even though they've ticked it and they just ticked it because they're protecting themselves. The red flags where I won't take a call is if they have a low commitment level to achieving their goals. I don't want to know, thanks very much. Or if they've put something in there where it completely takes them out of the ballgame, if me ever being able to work with them, there's no point. And in those cases I send them a polite email to say that from the questionnaire results that I've received, I don't think we're going to be a great fit to work together. And the call is probably, probably isn't going to be the best use of our time.

(17:25):
Thanks very much for inquiring da dah, dah, dah. That actually rarely happens because by the time they get to the point of the, of the core booking system in the questionnaire, they'll read through and they'll probably ascertain that they're not the right fit anyway. There's very few people that actually end up going slipping through the net and actually booking the call. Everyone else tends to be pretty much primed understanding where it's going and they're at a level for me to get on a phone call to know that actually this could, this could be really positive and beneficial partnership moving forward and we could be a great fit together. Judging by that qualification, judging by the fact that they've been following my content. If I've got a name that I have no idea where it's come from, I've not been interacting, interacting with them on social media or anywhere else or they've not bought my book or anything else like that.

(18:16):
And then I will tend to obviously ask them and said, Hey, are you looking forward to our call? Can I just ask where you found this? So you can ask that or I have particular links as well where I can tell where they've, what piece of content that they've come through from based upon what link they've clicked and so on and so forth. But you want to kind of find out where people are coming from as well. So make sure that that is in there somewhere. So that you can tell whether it's just some random person doing a yellow pages, flip through and just kind of hit your name and they just want to chat. Or whether there's someone who has been through your persuasion , preconversion process, you know, what you're dealing with. And again, it's your call too, whether you take the call or not, you know, whether they've not been through that that persuasion element.

(19:04):
You've got two options. You take the cold calls and you best be a good call taker and a sales call taker in order to make sure that you convert that lead if they're a good fit. Or that you can send them some of the things that you want them to look at to start that persuasion , to start that conversion process, to warm them up to your way of doing things. And to get them excited for moving forward. You can also do that. It's completely up to you or you can send them away it depending on what they've written on the questionnaire. So that's the second level. And then the third level is on the call and on the call you really want to be making sure that you're going over the answers in that questionnaire that you're ascertaining in depth where they wrap the impact that their problem is having on them or the impact that the not moving forward is having on them.

(19:57):
I'm ascertaining can you solve that problem? Are they going to be a good fit? Do they have the right kind of qualities that you look for in an ideal client? Are there any red flags that are coming up? Things that they're saying that don't sound quite right. And then it's again, ascertaining are they a great fit, but you've done all the hard work before they've got to the actual call itself. So you're in a good position to be speaking to the right kinds of people. And then it's just a case of, okay, so do you want to move forward with this person or not? If the answer is yes, offer them your services and get them an outlay of what you, what's on the table, what's best for them to start working in right now?

(20:41):
Or is it a case of saying, look, through speaking to you today, I'm not sure the best fit for you right now. And then referring them elsewhere or sending them on their way, whichever, whichever be the case or sending them back to some free content that they need to go and do or let them know the stage in which they need to be at before you can start working together. So do make sure that you follow this process and if you follow stages one and to the latter, you will find that your cause will be more fruitful, that you will start having more fruitful relationships moving forward. And that actually, if you start setting out the boundaries and expectations of what you're doing and you're clear about it, sales won't feel so icky. The calls won't feel so icky and it will start a much better place for a building, a working relationship together moving forward.

(21:32):
It sets a great precedent for when they received your contract and they suddenly have to read things that you expect from them in order to make sure that they get the results that they need. Being a service based industry, it's important that the user uses it properly. And so they have to have the boundaries and expectations set out for them and they've already been through your prequalification process so they know what to expect. They know that you're not just going to take any old person on, that you're making sure that every stage that you're transparent, that you are building those boundaries, you're building those expectations and that you're making sure that you're communicating that to every stage. And it makes the process so much easier, so much nicer, and it's in flow. So there we go. That was a download of wittering and I hope that wittering was useful to you guys on pre-qualification.

(22:30):
But it really is important to do. To make sure that your business functions well and that you start great business and start great working relationships. So I hope you've enjoyed the episode. If you would like to talk to me about positioning yourself as a market leader and how you can start attracting those high paying clients with ease and becoming that number one choice for your market, then do make sure you book your call with me in the show notes, the links in the show notes, bit.ly/claritycallpodcast. Get that book to have a nose on the way through at my prequalification questionnaire and I'm really looking forward to speaking to some of you who are looking forward to moving forward in your business. Could I say forward anymore? I'm not editing it out. I'm going to end the podcast and send you guys on your way, whether it's the evening or the morning. I hope you have a great rest of the day and I will speak to you again in the next episode. If you've got any comments, questions, feedback, and please do send it to jen@jen-hall.com speak to you guys soon. Take care.

About the Author

Jen Hall is Business Clarity Coach for Coaches, Consultants & Experts who want to become Unrivalled Go-To Experts. Jen not only gets you clear on your micro-niche, message and what makes you unique and desirable, but she helps you to define what makes you an irrefutable offer to the market so you can position yourself as a high-end 'must have' option for your prospects. She is a Multi-Award Winning Speaker and Best Selling Author of Expert Unrivalled.