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Three Questions to Ask When Qualifying Sales

One of the challenges when working as a sales professional is that there are only so many days in the week and only so many hours in the day.  With that being the case, time is limited and one of the keys to effective time management is to focus on qualifying sales opportunities.

By effectively qualifying opportunities, you can identify which opportunities stand the best chance to close and which ones don’t.  From there, not only you can either prioritize the opportunities to identify where you need to spend your time, but you can also identify any gaps and holes that exist in the sales opportunities that you are working.

To improve your scrutiny when qualifying opportunities, you can work with prospects try to answer the following three questions.

1.  Why do something?

When we are trying to sell something and increase sales, it is easy to come across plenty of rejection.  With that being the case, when we come across a sales prospect that shows the slightest form of interest, we can sometimes get very excited and easily jump through their hoops and be eager to show them our products, give them pricing, etc.

And while we know why they should buy from us, we can easily skip right over asking the question of why should they make a change or make the purchase.  Is what you are selling a “nice to have” or a “must have” for the prospect.  Having the prospect answer why they should do something in their own words will help you to figure this out and this will help with qualifying sales.

2.  Why now?

After you identify why the prospect should do something, you need to ask why do something now?  If the purchase is a “must have”, that is a good start toward the opportunity being qualified.  But is it a “must have” or is it a “must have right now”.  Having the prospect answer this question in their own words will help you to determine the time-line that the sales prospect is working against and this will help you with qualifying sales.

If as part of answering this question, you identify a significant date or event that the purchase needs to be made by, then you have just uncovered a compelling event.  By there being a compelling event involved, the sales opportunity becomes much more qualified.



3.  Why buy from us?

Lastly, it is important to identify why the prospect would buy from you over the competition.  If you cannot clearly answer this, then you either do not truly understand your prospect’s needs, you do not fully understand your offering and competitive differentiation, or maybe a little bit of both.

As part of the sales engagement process, work with the sales prospect to understand why they would want to do business with you over the competition.  If they cannot or will not communicate this to you, it may not be a qualified opportunity.

By working with the sales prospect to answer these three simple questions, you will drastically improve your effectiveness in qualifying sales.  By focusing more on qualifying sales opportunities, you will improve your focus, your priority, and your time management and these will all improve your sales effectiveness.


Launch Pad Solutions, LLC provides sales coaching to help drive sales excellence.


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This article was published on Monday 25 October, 2010.
Back to main topic: Qualifying Prospects
Qualifying Business to Ensure Sales Effectiveness
Questions to Ask When Qualifying Sales
Qualifying Sales with Light Questions First
Five Powerful Open Sales Questions
Effectively Qualifying a Prospect
Using Open Ended Sales Questions to Increase Sales
Sales Call Questions that Can Generate Leads
Powerful Questions for Sales People (Part I)
Powerful Questions for Sales People (Part II)
How to Qualify a Prospect

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