Are You Over Qualifying Prospects?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

I talk a lot about qualifying the buyer. You need to spend your time talking to and working with those prospects that CAN do business with you. So you do need to qualifyYes/no potential buyers to your minimal levels and try to screen out those that may prove to be a waste of time.

However, I find that many sales people go too far with this. Some are so afraid of under-qualifying, they OVER-qualify; eliminating qualified buyers and missing legitimate sales opportunities.

Following are a few tips to help you make sure you are not closing the door on opportunity when it knocks. Depending on what you sell and your sales process, some of these thoughts may not apply, but I think you’ll get the idea.

The Perfect Prospect
You have the image, the exact parameters and the makeup of what is the perfect prospective customer for your product or service. However, you must be careful not to force EVERY prospect to meet those qualifications before you decide to give the opportunity your best effort.

You may think that waiting on that perfect prospect is prudent because you only spend time with “Buyers.” The truth however, is that waiting on the perfect prospect is simply being lazy. That so-called perfect prospect, in most cases, represents the easy, lay-down sale.

Stop waiting for the perfect prospect and start converting marginal prospects INTO perfect prospects. Better yet, start turning marginal prospects into perfect clients!

Minimal Qualifications, Maximum Effort
Define the minimal qualifications a prospect needs to do business with you. Then, give every prospect who meets those qualifications, your best effort in closing the sale. Too often, sales people give less effort and attention to those prospects that do not APPEAR to be of the highest quality. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Do Your JOB!
Usually, part of that over qualifying is due to potential funding or the lack of a pre-established need. In other words, if the prospect does not seem to have a clearly defined budget and readily available funds, or if the prospect cannot yet firmly define the need, then the thought is to pass over this lead.

Think about that though. You want a prospect that already knows exactly what they need, knows exactly what they will spend and has the check ready? If that were the case, then why would any company need you? Why would anyone pay a professional sales person to get that business?

Stop waiting for the prospect to do your job for you.

As a professional sales person, YOU need to uncover the problems. YOU need to expose the need. YOU need to help the prospect with funding.


Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 14 March, 2012

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