How To Decide If Prospect Is Worth Your Time?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

sand watch in handsIt’s a tough question, this one.

Your prospect has gone out to tender or has asked other companies as well yours to present their solutions.

They are someone you would like to work with but you’re aware the competition will undercut you or offer something of greater value than you, so you think.

Is it worth competing for the business? 

Many will say, yes of course it is! You miss 100% of the shots you never take, so why not go for everything you can and you might get one or two you never thought you would!

It’s a fair point, and well made.

However, the time and effort could be better spent in going for quality rather than quantity.

Here are some rules or guidelines that may make you contemplate whether it’s a good use of your time and resources before picking up the batten and running with it:

Is the customer really going to buy?

This may seem strange to ask, as they have gone out to tender or made a requisition for companies to propose.

But you need to identify what are the key driving forces that are making them want to buy?

Is the budget really available?

It’s important to understand what the company results are presently so you can see what changes they may be contemplating.

What progress has already been made when you found out about the opportunity?

Questions you need to assess at this point include, “Have the needs been established effectively yet?

What will the budget be?

What time frames would you be working to?

What solutions has the prospect been exposed to so far?”

Assessing the answers to these fundamentals may save you time and resources searching for answers they already have.

Will our solutions be worthwhile for the prospect?

You can decide whether your products and services match the needs of the prospect as you see them.

How would your products offer unique or differential opportunities for the prospect?

How would you demonstrate the benefits of the value of your solutions?

Answers to these questions will give you a clearer vision of what would be the value of spending time with this prospect.

Could we win this opportunity?

This is the crux of the situation and will drive your next decision-making process.

You need to consider whether the prospect and their ‘power-people’ have enough pain associated with the current situation to contemplate your solution, especially if you are more expensive than competitors.

You could find out at this point if there is only point of call for making the decisions, or whether people from different departments will be involved.

If so, is there a way you could be in touch with them. possibly through Linkedin?

You may need to re-craft or re-engineer a differentiating vision of change for the prospect, so they see how your solution may provide a better journey than the one they are contemplating with another company.

You could ask whether the actual buying process could be formulated in a different way.

This might give you more control over the way decisions are made.

Is it worth winning anyway?

Sometimes the risks you take in going on the journey may not be worth it, so you need to ask whether you are willing to take those risks.

Maybe this is a prospect who would guarantee more work in the future and a current low-priced option may get the foot in the door for future opportunities.

In that case, you may assess the value of doing the hard graft now to build greater value in the future.

These are just five hard-hitting questions that will help you assess the value of the time and effort you will need to put in to attain the prospect’s business.

Having asked these questions, if you feel the benefits and advantages of the opportunities outweigh the risk factors involved, then maybe there would be merit in spending the time and resources in pursuing the opportunity.

If not, at least you’ve made a conscious decision based on sound reasoning.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Dollarphotoclub

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 30 November, 2015

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