How to Qualify Leads and Prospects

No matter how good you are at your job, sometimes, there are leads that will just not convert. And that’s absolutely fine – but it’s important to recognise when a lead is just a terrible fit, so that you don’t waste your time spending an hour on the phone trying to convert them when it isn’t going to happen. The first thing you have to do is make sure that your leads are qualified, but that means you need to know what a qualified lead means to your business. Discard unqualified leads and you can then concentrate on the leads that are much more likely to convert in the first place. If, after they’ve been pre-qualified, they show any of the signs listed below, it’s probably best to cut your losses and move on.

If They Don’t Have the Budget

If the lead doesn’t have the budget there unfortunately isn’t a lot you can do, unless you offer payment plans to leads that otherwise seem qualified. Save budget questions for towards the end of the phone call to avoid scaring off prospects that are otherwise on board. If the lead is asking questions about budget throughout the call, whilst you’re going through your pitch, that may well be a sign that they aren’t the right fit for you.

If The Lead Can’t Make Decisions

If you end up on the phone with someone and partway through your pitch it’s revealed that you’re talking to someone who isn’t the decision- maker, or that isn’t able to part with company money, simply ask to speak with someone who is able to make those kinds of decisions. There is no use staying on the phone with someone who can’t buy what you’re offering, as it’s a waste of both your time.

Image by SparkCBC                     Image Credit – SparkCBC (CC License)

If The Lead Is the Wrong Size for Your Solution

Your product, solution or services might be catered towards a single individual, but you may well be attracting small businesses, or you could be having the exact opposite problem. It’s important to try to distinguish the type of lead you’re going to speak with before you even get on the phone, but if it emerges that your particular product or solution cannot be worked around in any shape or form to suit the size of the lead that you’re speaking to, thank the prospect for thinking of you and move on.

If The Lead Isn’t Actually an Engaged Prospect

Sometimes, somehow, a prospect ends up on your call list and you give them a ring – only for them to ask you why you’re calling and who you are. You didn’t get their phone number from nowhere and they are on your subscriber list, but it may quickly become apparent when you start your pitch that they’re not actually an engaged and interested customer. If that’s the case, it makes more sense to cut your losses rather than to carry on trying to sell your solution or services to someone who is more likely to be the wrong fit.

For more help and advice on telemarketing, and to see which solutions that Virtual Sales can provide to you and your business, get in touch today.


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Andy Dickens

Andy Dickens is a veteran of IT Sales, used to leading by example. He is the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited (VSL) who offer telesales, telemarketing, lead generation and appointment setting services to B2b businesses. He previously was Sales Director EMEA for Red Hat and before that ran sales at Visio before it was acquired by Microsoft.