When you want to qualify your leads and you approach it from the standpoint of looking for relationships that are going to be mutually beneficial, then it does become a lot easier. Because it’s not just about me saying, okay, I’m going to disqualify this person because of A, B, and C.

If part of that equation is I don’t feel like I can help them, then you’re really acting with integrity. Because you’re not wasting their time and you’re not trying to sell them something that they can’t use, don’t need, don’t want, can’t afford.

David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, co-host Jay McFarland and I will be asking the question, how do you qualify your leads? Welcome back Jay.

Jay: So great to be here, David. And another great important discussion for people in sales or any type of business. You know, we had this process in our company where we had set up a situation where, man, we were getting the phone to ring like crazy.

We were getting leads. We were like so excited. And then we started looking at the close rate, the conversion rates and who these leads were. And you know what, probably 10% of them were looking for the product that we had to offer. So in having what some would call a successful marketing campaign, we were actually costing ourselves a lot of time and money.

David: Yeah, and in a situation like that, but also in pretty much any other sales situation, there is a process of elimination that has to happen. Now, if 90% of the leads that you’re generating are really wildly unqualified, then yeah, you definitely want to tweak your marketing to try to improve those odds. But depending on the value of the client, the value of the sale itself.

The long-term value of the client. If they end up doing business with you again and again and again, then even numbers like that could potentially work. As long as the rest of the math works.

Jay: Yeah. and actually what we did is we just kept tweaking, right? So we just kept changing our keywords and our searches, and we got to the point where I would say 98% of our calls are right in that zone.

Now, clearly we don’t convert all of those calls, but if you can really build a funnel where you can know that you’re at least talking to people who want what you have to offer. Wow. You have jumped ahead in the game.

David: Absolutely. Now, for purposes of our discussion today, when we talk about qualifying leads, ’cause actually that would be a great subject for another podcast where we talk about what we can do when we’re trying to bring in the right people.

But regardless of who you’re bringing in now, there is very likely a conversion ratio, like what you mentioned, whether it’s 10% or whether it’s 20% or 40% or 60%, whatever that percentage is. If you’re dealing with similar types of leads, there is probably a reasonably consistent conversion ratio that you’re working with.

Jay: Mm-hmm.

David: And if you want to improve on that, without diddling with the front end, then a lot of that is going to boil down to your lead qualification procedure. What am I saying to people? What am I asking them to determine whether or not they are a good fit for us?

Jay: Yeah. And are you even doing that or are you, like we talked about in the last podcast, are you just jumping right into the sales process or are you taking some time to really find out if you’re a good fit? Because that’s going to be better for them and it’s going to be better for you in the long run.

David: Exactly. And it also ties back to a an earlier podcast we did where we were talking about people who are worthy of our time and attention, right? So that also gets down to this level of qualification. And each of these things that we’re talking about are sort of slices or pieces of the same thing, which is why I like these podcasts when we’re having an opportunity to talk about these different pieces of the puzzle.

Because having a bunch of them right, makes a lot more things go right. And so, when we talk about qualification, that to me is a really important one because we can’t always control the quality of the leads that are coming in.

And in those situations, we want to have a process in place that will allow us to disqualify the poor quality prospects as quickly as possible so we’re not wasting a lot of time with them.

Jay: Yeah, and again when you talked about worthiness, we’re deciding with our business model, with the amount of profit we need for sale, with the spend that we need to have, our customers have to be worthy of our time.

Figuring out all of those things before you even start talking about numbers and those types of things. Again, it’s going to be better for both sides. Both sides have a much better chance of being happy when you start off with that frame of mind,

David: No question. And when you mentioned the fact that a lot of people just get in front of someone or get on the phone with someone or get on a Zoom call with someone and immediately dive into the presentation without doing any qualification whatsoever, not just a bad sales practice.

Jay: Mm-hmm.

David: It’s also kind of rude, right?

Jay: Mm-hmm.

David: Because it doesn’t consider either your time or the other person’s time. And simply by asking a couple of quick prequalification or qualification questions, we can determine whether or not the entire conversation is even necessary.

Jay: Yeah, and like you said, you’re bringing in all these leads and through those initial questions you can both move on because they were not somebody who’s looking for what you have to offer.

That, if each consultation lasts, say 20 minutes, and you know, one out of five or whatever, you’re reducing down to two because you’re like, that’s not what we offer. this is what we do offer. If we can ever help you out, please call us, you’re talking about real dollars and real time here.

David: Right and real people, which I think is also very key to this whole idea. When we’re looking at having conversations with people and discerning whether or not we have what they need, whether we’re able to provide it to them, whether or not they’re a good fit for what we’re doing, it has to be reciprocal. It has to be mutual.

Jay: Mm-hmm.

David: It has to be mutually beneficial, and so the quicker we can get to that, then the better off we’re all going to be.

Jay: Yeah, for some reason the word dating just came into mind. It’s like when you’re first thinking about should I go out with somebody, if that person leads with the sales pitch, you’re going to be done right away, right?

There’s got to be some assessment of compatibility if you’re even going to start that. And that’s really what we’re talking about in business is their compatibility between their needs and what you can offer. If you can figure that out early on, then the first date’s going to be a lot better.

David: Yeah. And so much of that is going to take place early on in the conversation, because you can alienate someone in two seconds, right?

Jay: Yeah.

David: Or they can alienate you in two seconds. And you can know pretty quickly whether or not it is worth further conversation. And I think when you approach it from the standpoint of looking for relationships that are going to be mutually beneficial, then it does become a lot easier. Because it’s not just about me saying, okay, I’m going to disqualify this person because of A, B, and C.

If part of that equation is I don’t feel like I can help them, then you’re really acting with integrity. Because you’re not wasting their time and you’re not trying to sell them something that they can’t use, don’t need, don’t want, can’t afford.

Jay: Yeah. And we’ve all had that situation where somebody’s trying to cram us into something. We’ve already told them, that’s just not a fit for me. And they don’t care. They’re going to push you into that square hole or whatever. Because that’s their job.

Their desire is to make money and not provide a quality service or anything else. And I think it’s also important to point out that whether or not they’re qualified, whether or not that relationship is going to work, can also change through the process, right?

They could have been the perfect quality client for you for a while, and then all of the sudden something has changed for them or something has changed for you. So having this kind of thought process ongoing, I think is important as well.

David: Yeah, definitely. Requalification on an ongoing basis is definitely a part of this.

One of the things that we do with our Total Market Domination clients is we help them to create a lead qualification procedure that they can use consistently in their business. And this is one of those small hinges that swings big doors where someone can get this into place and they distribute it to their sales representatives.

They have their sales reps ask a series of questions, doesn’t have to be a ton, anywhere from three to seven questions, maybe. And if they say no to the first couple, you don’t even have to go onto the rest, right?

Jay: Mm-hmm.

David: So it’s structured in a way where it’s designed to be the most respectful of the person’s time. It’s designed to create value in the conversation itself to determine whether or not there’s a good fit. And if there is, then you move forward. And if there’s not, then you make the decision not to move forward.

So many times, and in this podcast we always talk about at the end, how can people find out more, right? And we say, if you’d like to have a conversation, and we give them a link where they can go to schedule a call with our team.

Even in those situations, when people call and have that conversation with us, that’s what we’re going to do at the very beginning. We’re going to ask a series of questions that determine whether or not it makes sense for us to continue the conversation.

Because it doesn’t make sense for us to just dive into, “okay, well here’s what we can do and here’s how we can help,” if we’re not even sure yet that we’ve got a good fit, that we can help with your particular situation.

So a lot of it is really diagnostic in the sense of, I need to know more about you, what you’re looking to do, what you’re looking to accomplish. So I can say, “Hmm, yeah, that sounds like something I can help with.” Or, “you know what, that’s not really what we do, but maybe I can refer you to someone else who can help with that.”

Jay: Yeah, and we’ve all had that situation where somebody has been honest with us like this, who have said, look, you know, I could probably try and, you know, sell you on this, but to be honest, I don’t think we are the right thing you’re looking for.

I always feel so grateful for that. And then, if somebody comes to me and says, “Hey, do you know somebody that provides this service?” I’m going to be like, “yeah, I do. I’ve had an interaction with that person, and they were honest and upfront with me,” and so I can see lots of other ways that this can benefit your business overall and in the long haul.

David: And when you don’t do this, you create a level of distrust in the prospect that is going to impact their interactions with everyone.

Jay: Yes.

David: There are people who listen to this podcast or who watch the video of the podcast, get the newsletter, all that sort of thing. And they’ve heard us talk about how can people find out more and here’s what to do.

And I’ve had people who hadn’t scheduled for a really long time, then they finally decide to schedule. And I say, “well, what took you so long,” essentially? And they said, “well, we’re afraid it was just going be a sales pitch.”

And my feeling is the reason that happened is because they’ve had that experience with other people. And if you don’t do that, if you start off with a few questions that are designed to determine whether or not there’s a fit, then it’s just a lot more honest and it results in better relationships, better communication, and more trust in the marketplace.

Jay: Yeah, and think about that. If you’ve est ablished trust before you’ve even started the sales pitch, you’re well on your way.

So how do people find out more? And they’ll get an example of what we’re talking about when they call you.

David: Okay, you can go to TopSecrets.com/call. That’s TopSecrets.com/call, schedule a call with myself or my team where we can discuss this. And the different things that we talk about in the podcast are essentially little slices, little elements of the components that go into the work that we do with our clients.

And so if you hear a little bit one week and a little bit another week and a little bit another week, and you say, wow, that’s a lot of stuff. It actually seems like more than it is, when we’re talking about it as we do in this podcast.

But when we’re working with you to implement it, it becomes extremely streamlined. It’s all very focused and very structured and very simple so that you can start to get the results you’re looking for immediately.

There are training programs that are all about teaching, teaching, teaching, and learning, learning, learning. We’re just about implementation. What can we do that will give you something to do next that will accomplish a result for you?

Whether it’s identifying the right types of prospects that you want to have in your business. Whether it’s determining which of those people you should start off with. The communication. What should we say? How should we say it? The things that we’re talking about now, qualifying prospects in or out as quickly as possible.

All of these things can be simplified and proceduralized. That’s exactly what we do with our clients. So if that sounds like it’s worth a conversation, TopSecrets.com/call.

Jay: Yeah, don’t be afraid to call. David, such a pleasure as usual.

David: Thank you, Jay.

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