Finding The Appropriate Customers For Your Business

Salespeople are often so enthusiastic about getting new business that they may let this blind them when it comes to how attractive the client is in terms of buying power.

A sales management team may want to work with their representatives in order to ensure that they are being diligent in their quest for acquiring new business, specifically customers that will be around for a long time and devote significant resources to the company.

There are many representatives who will try and sell anything to anybody due to the fact that they have a deficit mentality because of a lack of efficient prospecting and qualifying that was done in the beginning of the sales cycle, according to Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm.

A sales management team may want to stress the importance of qualifying candidates to their representatives, as putting in the time at the beginning of the process can work to save significant manpower once the calls are made. Less effort is wasted when salespeople are not hounding clients with limited potential, said the executive.

“A filtering process has got to be established for what is a qualified buyer. There’s got to be a filter to differentiate between those who will buy and those who won’t buy,” noted Riddleberger. “In that qualification process is also buyers who will buy from you but aren’t worth it.”

This then becomes an issue of representatives being able to differentiate between the two types of interested buyers, as certain clients may be difficult to judge. A specific sales training program can help managers teach the correct methods that generate the correct responses.

“Going through and defining and communicating, which is what we do in our sales training program, of the 7 characteristics of a qualified buyer, and using that as a filter between those who will and those who won’t,” said the executive. “But the secret is making sure that the sales managers reinforce what those characteristics of a qualified buyer are and make sure that they ask relevant questions directly related to each of those qualifiers and those are your non-negotiable questions.”

The questions that determine the quality of the candidate need to be asked up front out of an effort to avoid any unnecessary correspondence. If this is not done, representatives will not know whether to proceed and things may move forward in an ineffective manner, according to Riddleberger.

“If the correct questions are not asked then your salesperson turns into someone who is going to run around and do ‘hope and quote’ with potential clients,” said the executive. “You know, I’m going to quote this buyer, and I hope they’ll buy from me.”

A company cannot sustain itself if the representatives and management are operating in this fashion. There have to be iron clad qualifiers that help save time and resources during each round of correspondence, noted Riddleberger.

“Even if it’s just a couple of items of an ideal customer profile: this is our target market, this is our price point, here’s who we’re going after, and when we get in front of these people as early in the sales process as we can, we need to ask these series of questions to find out if they are in fact qualified,” the executive noted.

By getting the ideal customer profile, a representative will be able to narrow down their list of clients almost immediately, and this can lead to an increase in profits and sales for both the company and the salesperson, according to Selling Power.