The phone rings. It's a number you don't recognise. You answer politely and find out that it's a lead. It's someone who has seen some of your marketing and wants to talk to you about a project.

You get excited, this doesn't happen as often as it used to. Better go and have a look at this one so after a short conversation you agree a time to meet in the next day or so.

You hang up and continue to feel good, they need work done, that's what you do. Got a good lead.

When you go and see the site you unfortunately find out that they haven't got plans yet, finance isn't lined up, they are talking to 7 others, the work is not exactly what you do, their budget is WAY under what they need, they don't need to start for 6 months, etc etc. This isn't a current opportunity and you walk away with the promise to keep in touch and get together when they are ready for you.

Back in the van you're seething.

This may seem a bit extreme, BUT, how many times have you done something like that? Got a live one, in the van and out to see them only to come away telling yourself that that was a waste of 3 hours of your time?

Well, I don't want you to do that ever again, your time is too precious to waste on tire kickers or people that just aren't ready to talk to you seriously today.

The Answer.........................Qualify every lead you talk to.

That means on the very first contact having a conversation deep enough for you to decide how best to handle this person. Yes, it will be a little longer on the phone, AND it could save you lots of time.

It means asking the right questions to enable you to take one of the following actions :

  • Hot Lead – Ready for you now - Go and see them very soon
  • Good Lead – Ready for you soon – Go and see in the next week or so
  • Cool Lead – Will be ready in a few months – Send them something and keep in touch, call in when you're passing by to meet them. They may be a terrific client at the right time.

This may seem harsh, but it ensures you are only spending your precious time with the most relevant people, those that are ready for you now and have an opportunity to price now.

You qualify by asking great questions, such as :

  • What is the work they want done, is it what you do?
  • Where are they, in the areas you work in, or the other side of town?
  • Do they have plans, or will they be ready in the next month?
  • Do they have finance lined up?
  • What is their ball park budget? This one will cause a few heart flutters but it helps to know they are in the ball park or not. How many times have you been told your quote is way over what they can afford, after you've spent 3 days on them?
  • How many others are they talking to?
  • When do they want the job to start?
  • And it will help if you add other questions that find out information that you wished you'd known early on in the process.

So, to summarize, don't waste another minute going to see people that aren't ready for you. Qualify every prospect you talk to by asking good questions to decide how best to handle them.

This will give you more time to spend with serious prospects, time that you can use to build the elements of Know, Like and Trust that must exist for a successful sale.

For more information on how to make the most use of your time call Michael on 0419 420 783 for a complimentary strategy session.

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