Qualifying Questions Thread

62 replies
Well, in a different thread, it was mentioned that the qualifying stage of selling is not discussed enough. I agree.

When I say qualifying, here is what I mean;

The questions you ask when prospecting, to see if the prospect is a likely candidate for your service.

OR
The questions you ask at the beginning of a presentation, that gives you all the information you want to tell you that the prospect is likely to buy. It also lets you know what specific areas to talk about, and how to customize your presentation to fit them perfectly.

Sometimes, as in phone selling, these are actually the same thing, the same questions, asked once.

But maybe it would be helpful to separate the question into;

What you ask on the phone to determine if you want an appointment, or not.
What you ask at the beginning of a presentation to help you steer your presentation.


I'll just start with the questions I ask when talking to a prospect on the phone or when speaking to them personally. This is still in the prospecting phase.


"Do you advertise?" "How?" (assume the answer is Print)

"Are your print ads reaching more people, or less people every year?" (Always Less)

"Where are they going instead?" (I may ask a few more questions. I need them to say "online")

"Do you have customers now that find you online?" (Yes)

"Would you like more of them?" (They have to say "Yes" or ask how I do it)

There's more to qualifying, of course, but there's a start. Guys?
#qualifying #questions #thread
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Nguyen
    I follow this BANT

    B - Budget
    A - Authority
    N - Need
    T - Timing

    But in this order of NABT

    N - "Tell me why you think you need SEO"

    A - "Apart from yourself who else makes the decision"

    B - "Our services based on what you're asking for is about x per month. If you liked what you see, could you find that budget?

    T - "Could you make a decision this not next week"

    From here you can then qualify with your technical questions etc
    I get that all upfront before I decide if its worth a presentation / send more information email.

    For me, the qualifying and asking all the questions in different ways is your AMMO when you're closing.

    I closed a online presentation today expecting some form of objection but nothing. I guess the presentation answered all his questions. Even so, he was not going to be ready for my of my BANT closes.

    i read somewhere on here that if you ask them what they are currently spending on etc will determine what budgets you can ask for. Very clever.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    I think there are two problems here.

    1 > people are so desperate to make a sale they don't really "qualify"...so what they're really looking for are magic questions that make people drop their wallets

    and

    2 > qualifying questions are specific to each situation.

    I have an entire section on qualifying in my program.

    Nobody ever asks about it.

    I've even tried selling it separately.

    What do they want? Magic zingers to "beat the gatekeeper" and "close the sale."

    Yet if you qualify well, closing the sale is a perfunctory non-event.

    ADDITION, because I felt the above ended too grumpily (though I stand by my opinion):

    Knowing your prospect's pain points (which we've talked about recently as "getting into the head of your customer") is important.

    You can sort by these. Are they experiencing Symptom XYZ or Problem 123?

    Tell me more about that.

    And how long has this been going on?

    Have you done anything to try and fix it?

    What happened then?

    And where are you at now?


    What if, for instance, you asked these questions about a web design project...and discovered you were the fourth designer they were looking at hiring? That the previous three had been fired, each lasting about a month?

    From my experience with this forum, odds are you'd ignore it and push on, trying to get the sale.

    Foolish. You're probably going to be Fired Designer #4.

    Questioning skills are about uncovering the truth about what's really going on in your prospect's world.

    They don't tell you the truth.

    Never the full truth; even with people you've worked with for years.

    New prospects? Absolute concealers of how bad things really are, what they're doing, what they're planning...

    It's your job to find out what the real situation is. Whether you can really help. If there's a problem here big enough to warrant your involvement in solving it. Whether this person is a fit personality-wise (DO NOT try to sweep this under the rug: you can't handle it, at any price) to work with you.

    But no, most will go back to looking for the magic answer just like they do in IM.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post


      Yet if you qualify well, closing the sale is a perfunctory non-event.
      Closing should be the natural conclusion to a well delivered presentation. The last question a prospect should ask is "What do we need to do to get the ball rolling?" If you do it right, and you have your offer in front of the right person in the first place, there isnt any hard close.

      That's why there is no substitute for learning "Sales".

      I dont really do business on the WF anymore, but due to my posts, my PM box is filled with people asking me to close them on something... I probably have 10 or 15 sales in there right now (which I wont go for) ,that I didnt even have to close, only to present information and opportunity "effectively".

      You probably do too.

      No substitute for learning how to sell.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Claude, what you have done with those questions
        is to help the prospect come to his own conclusion.

        Which of course is more powerful than you making the conclusion
        without or very little build up to it.

        Back in the day, Romans had a word for it, educe.
        This is the root meaning for education.

        The teachers would steer their students to
        come to their own conclusion so that
        they built up their critical thinking skills.

        A couple of thousand years later and
        the control, command schooling system have butchered the
        meaning of education.

        Anyway, back to phone sales, how would you transition from hello to
        that line of questioning you just gave, so you are given the attention
        while you ask those questions?

        Best,
        Doctor E. Vile
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          Claude, what you have done with those questions
          is to help the prospect come to his own conclusion.

          Which of course is more powerful than you making the conclusion
          without or very little build up to it.

          Back in the day, Romans had a word for it, educe.
          This is the root meaning for education.

          The teachers would steer their students to
          come to their own conclusion so that
          they built up their critical thinking skills.

          A couple of thousand years later and
          the control, command schooling system have butchered the
          meaning of education.

          Anyway, back to phone sales, how would you transition from hello to
          that line of questioning you just gave, so you are given the attention
          while you ask those questions?


          Best,
          Doctor E. Vile
          "Ewen?

          Claude Whitacre here, is this a bad time to talk, or do you have a minute?

          Ewen, I help retail store owners create leads and bring in paying customers, but only those that already have a website. Would you like to know more?

          Do you advertise now?....".


          And then on from there.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          The teachers would steer their students to
          come to their own conclusion so that
          they built up their critical thinking skills.
          That's it! That's how to teach. Teaching someone how to learn. My Kung Fu instructor used to tell me, "If I teach you one angle, and you figure out the next three on your own, you really know something. And you'll never forget."

          He would teach a move, and tell me to come up with the next three follow up moves. The next week, I'd show him what I came up with. Almost always, it would be a simple, "No". And I would go back to it. Every once in a while, he would say, "Not completely wrong." and I knew I had something. This built a depth of knowledge that I couldn't have received in any other way.

          Unfortunately, that isn't how people want to learn. So it's not how I teach.
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            The questions I used when selling vacuum cleaners in people's homes;

            Before I got there, I knew their name, address, phone, what kind of work they did, and what kind of vacuum cleaner they had, and how old it was.


            This is a list of the questions, but it really sounded like a conversation..not an interrogation.

            What do you have now? How old is it?
            What do you like about it?
            What don't you like about it?
            Do you have allergies? Pets? Carpeted steps?
            Have you ever had someone selling something in your home? (if Yes), What happened?

            Here's why I asked those questions;

            What do you have now? How old is it?

            I want to see how they answer. Most people would lie about how old their vacuum cleaner was. But I wanted to know which way they would lie. If it was really 5 years old (I can tell) and they said it was 3 years old, they were rationalizing not buying anything new. If they said it was ten years old, they were rationalizing that they could justify buying a new vacuum.

            What do you like about it?
            Whatever they would say, if my machine had that feature, I would remember to point it out. One of the ost powerful selling methods you can use is to present your product as an exact match for them and their situation. Make it brain dead obvious that this is the right thing for them.


            What don't you like about it?

            Now I want to know how they feel about their vacuum cleaner. If they rave about it, I make sure the new machine looks like an improved version of what they have, and I praise them for their smart shopping. I want to know the features tht are the same as what I sell, so I can match them up later.


            Do you have allergies? Pets? Carpeted steps?

            If they have allergies, I ask hem about it. If they complain about health issues, I talk about health. If they have pets, I talk about pets, and how our machine picks up pet hair. I ask these questions to be able to fix the idea in their mind that this machine is specific to them.



            Have you ever had someone selling something in your home? (if Yes), What happened?


            If the answer is "Yes", I want to know everything...the good, the bad, and the ugly. If they have bought from an in home salesperson before, the chance that they will buy from me, just went through the roof. I want to know how the salesperson treated them. I want to praise their previous purchases. I want them feeling that buying is what everyone does. It's the natural conclusion to our time together.


            There are more questions, but they are ones I ask throughout the presentation.

            I want the prospect to talk. The more I listen, the smarter I seem to them. The more they see my product as fitting them, the more likely they are to buy.

            I also make sure they know what I charge, before I get too far into the presentation. In fact, I may just volunteer it before I see them. I want it to soak in....I want them to get used to it.

            The cure for sticker shock is time. Eventually, it just sounds more reasonable.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      I think there are two problems here.

      1 > people are so desperate to make a sale they don't really "qualify"...so what they're really looking for are magic questions that make people drop their wallets

      and

      2 > qualifying questions are specific to each situation.

      I have an entire section on qualifying in my program.

      Nobody ever asks about it.

      I've even tried selling it separately.

      What do they want? Magic zingers to "beat the gatekeeper" and "close the sale."

      Yet if you qualify well, closing the sale is a perfunctory non-event.
      I laughed out loud when I read this, because it's so true. When training salespeople, they hear, "Let's talk about qualifying", and their eyes glaze over. They want to learn the magic closing statement that will instantly turn a person completely disinterested, into an eager buyer.

      Yeah, I wrote a book on closing, but I sure stuffed a lot of Qualifying in there. I had to wrap the medicine in a box called "Candy".

      But the money is made in the selection of who you call, and how you qualify.


      Here are some of the real benefits of asking qualifying questions;

      Who asks questions? Doctors, lawyers, professionals...people you trust.
      The questions indicate that you may not qualify for what they sell. And everyone wants what they cannot have.
      Asking questions gives a prospect the opportunity to do their two favorite things; complain and brag.
      Asking questions gives the impression (true or not) that your offer is customized specifically to them. ......Which adds value.
      Asking questions helps condition the prospect for price. "The more specific the solution, the more it must cost" is their thinking.
      By asking questions you find which subject/features/opinions to avoid. You can actually sculpt your presentation to their self image.
      Asking questions builds rapport. It does just sound like a conversation...where you are interested in them.


      In my experience,more than 50% of the desire to buy is built in the qualification process. The entire foundation of the sale is laid here. It isn't sexy, but this is where the high performers spend their time.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        It isn't sexy, but this is where the high performers spend their time.
        I thinks its sexy because its the brilliance behind a "swoosh" close.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Question:

    "If you dont mind my asking, why dont you folks currently have a website thats working for you...?"

    Answer: "Well, we had one web designer and when he left we lost the passwords to the files...and before that we had an SEO person come in and try to charge us a thousand dollars per month, which amounted to getting on the search engines, but we didnt really see any sales increase... then we had another guy come in, but he wanted charge us 50 grand for a website, and some big service that we couldnt afford..."

    Me: "Really? OMG!" (All the way through).

    This is me qualifying and preparing my presentation to him. It begins with finding out where he is at, and empathizing.

    For one: I just found out that he will spend a grand per month on SEO, but he just wants it to increase his sales. I also found out what kind of price is too high, among other things...

    Through this question, I will find out why he hasnt done it yet, express understanding toward his grievances and relate to them, find out what bothers him about salesman, what he WANTED to happen, and what will make him say yes.

    I am about to become the solution to all these problems, and give all the right answers, because I asked that question and let him talk.

    All he sees is me listening and being concerned for him, even "shocked" at the others... Then I present the solution to everything he just complained about, in a way that I know he will respond to, from listening to him.

    Sometimes, if your prospect doesnt match the offer, then by listening ahead (with a qualifying intent) , you can make an offer that matches the prospect instead.

    Empathy. It's Golden.
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    Thank you Claude for starting this thread.


    Qualifying is the sexy part of sales, it's where the real game takes place.


    Asking them intelligent questions and really listening to their answers, using what they tell me to guide them to the services they NEED, so they convince themselves they need the services NOW. Making closing anti-climatic in most cases.


    The questions I ask and the skill of listening to what they really have to say is where I differentiate my self from most all of the sales people they encounter. I make most of my sales because of this, not because of any "easy button closing lines."


    Yeah, occasionally I run into low hanging fruit, who are desperate for solutions now, but that situation is the exception, not the rule.


    NOTE TO NOOBS:

    Concentrate most of your efforts on --
    • learning to choose who to call
    • pre-qualifying those people (Your time is Precious,don't waste time on appts. with people who won't or can't buy)
    • Ask really good, thoughtful qualifying questions - this step makes closing really easy.
    Google is your friend -- use it to find examples of great questions, them make your own list of questions for your prospects.


    I was listening to a recorded webinar once and the host discussed a list of great qualify questions, I couldn't write fast enough to get them all. I Googled transcription software, found a free transcription app and used it to transcribe the questions. I took me a couple of hours, but I got the questions(GOLD). I was determined.


    What is being shared with you in this thread is the map to the TREASURE, closing skills are not the real treasure, it's the skill of qualifying prospects that gets you PAID.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    The problem with a list of qualifying question is you're limited to the list.

    It doesn't take long to start getting the pattern. Thinking back, it was around 6 months for me after I started getting good sales training and working in sales full time.

    At that point you know how to begin with a few general questions, ("Tell me about what you were thinking and feeling when you founded this business, what your goals were at the time"...not even a question but a powerful starter--more often than not, they'll be in reverie and also realize they've gotten off track at some point: can you see how this makes them ready for change?) and then hone in on specific things they identify for you as problems or symptoms of problems.

    Qualifying is finding out what's really going on in your prospect's world, and then matching it up beside what you offer and determining if you're the best fit.

    Right here is where the average person in this forum falls down.

    They're so eager for cash they blow past the "Hey, am I even the best fit for this customer?"

    In fact, they're confused at what I'm saying now.

    Here's how it works for me: If I know someone who's a better fit for solving the problem than me, I refer the prospect. It takes four minutes or less for me to qualify a prospect...just a few questions, typically.

    If, for instance, someone wants copywriting, but they're pushing a health pill or Pick Up Artist content, I send them to another writer. I don't try and pull that money and deal in for myself. It wouldn't be the best fit. I know other writers who specialize in those areas. Also they have an 'ick' factor to me that make them unpalatable for me to write about.

    Let's say someone comes to me for local online marketing. I don't do much local beyond the tv show, but if they did I'd send them to Claude. He's better at it than I ever will be.

    Let's say someone comes to me for strategy. If it turned out in the qualifying (how many times have you seen me write "Qualify first, sell later"?) that a kind of startup blend of tech advertising, high level thinking, and intuitive feel was required, I would happily send them on to Ewen. I know he will do a better job in that situation than my methodical, by-the-numbers "let's take an existing business and help it break into a new market" approach.

    I didn't "lose" that money or sale in that case.

    I referred my prospect along to someone I know is better able to help that particular prospect.

    Comes back, many times.

    What I began this post wanting to say was You don't have to memorize a list.

    You don't have to carry this huge clipboard around with 55 qualifying questions on it.

    At the beginning, you need maybe a dozen.

    Get the general idea.

    Then start developing your style. I also commonly talk about "putting on your Sherlock Holmes hat."

    This is what I mean. You're qualifying, you're digging.

    What is the situation this person is in? Sure, they came to you asking for a website. OK, you could do the dumb thing and throw a quote at them. Where's that gonna get you? All you did was turn yourself into a commodity. Your price is up against the other bids they're getting but you didn't bother to find out about, and your price is also being used as a BARGAINING TOOL against other bidders.

    Instead, put on that Sherlock Holmes hat and start poking around.

    "I'm glad you came to me about this. ...Let me ask you a few questions about where you're at to find out if we're a fit."

    Oh man you should see the looks on some faces at this moment.

    Some are bland, they understand and are ready to participate.

    Others are shocked. Whadyamean, you're going to ask me questions? I'm the customer...Dance, Monkey!

    Well, you can guess what I do with the ones who want Monkey Dancing.

    But the truth is most people will come along with you if you show them there's a standard way you do business.

    So now's your chance to ask about their situation.

    "Why do you want a website?"

    "Why now? What changed?"

    "How many designers have you approached?" (Yes, this question is completely legit...and most often goes unasked because of Scaredy Cat-ness; yet, why wouldn't you want to know what you're up against...it only takes a moment to ask...and follow up with

    "Just...off the record, if you don't mind sharing with me...what kind of a range have you seen in prices so far?"

    Imagine if you knew that.

    One or more of your competitors does. Because they had the guts to be brave for a moment and ask. If there's pushback, "I want to make sure I'm not way out of the ballpark." You're doing them a favor.

    Heck, I get vibes from prospects. A downturn, a quietening down at the end of a sentence. An indication of dropping confidence. Many people have pointed out a sort of lawyerly ability I have to quickly hone in on "cloudy thinking" of another person. I have been talking to a prospect for forty seconds and known they're not a fit for me.

    This is a skill that is developed. People are not born being "natural salespeople."

    The question is: Are you willing to COMMIT?

    The experts in this thread and subforum have committed YEARS (not just one or two years, but many and some decades) to the study and practice of selling.

    We are still learning.

    My Kindle library and bookshelves are full of sales books. We talk sales. There is no End to this stuff.

    Do you think you're going to pick up a clipboard with questions on it and become an instant top seller?

    It's going to take around three years before you start naturally applying this stuff. Six months to get the idea, three years to make it a part of you. From the heart, not needing a script. You have to LIVE it.

    I remember a guy asking me, "You say you don't want everyone's business, for everyone to become a customer, but you don't really mean it, right?"

    That alone shows me where a person is at in their development.

    Mindset. Qualifying is mindset. I think I just had a realization.

    It took me about a year working with the idea that only the qualified few should have the chance to work with me for it to become a natural response I didn't have to think about or make happen. One day in an April of the last decade, I realized I was DOING it. I was LIVING it.

    First, are they able to talk to anyone right now--3/4 of the people you dial won't be free to talk to anyone, not even their own mother, right now. This is why having a consistent prospecting plan helps so much: it improves those odds tremendously.

    Second, are they interested in what you have to offer--are they in the situation that you can best help them out of.

    Third, do you want to work with them--do they fit personality-wise with you or are they a pain in the rear.

    See how the money is secondary? It's at lower level; I haven't even mentioned it in these process steps. It just "comes along for the ride" when you qualify well.

    Those questions about the website project above were not fancy ways of pre-selling the customer.

    They were to find out what was really going on.

    Imagine some different answers:

    Q: "Why do you want a website?"

    A: "Well, it just seems like everyone has one nowadays..." (trails off)

    I'm looking at this guy. He just lost my interest. There's no fuel here for the sale...I'm going to dig a little more, but...

    Q: "Uh, so your reason for wanting a website now is...everyone else has one so you think you should too?"

    A: "Well, yeah..."

    Q: "So why now? What changed?"

    A: (eagerly) "Oh, my boss told me to get some quotes."

    Uh huh.

    See, I just discovered a few things. One, he's not the decision maker. People love to pretend they're top dog. If you don't ask, don't get confirmation, they'll string you along and then--whoops--at the end, suddenly inform you they have to take it up the ladder.

    To a different person or persons.

    Who you don't know anything about.

    Preferences, decision making styles, what they want to see, favorite or most hated colors, nothing.

    And you think your quote is going to work. Ha ha.

    Two, he's just getting quotes. I have to ask another question to find out if/when they'll be making a decision. Deliberate vagueness on his part will tell me they're just goofing around and not to spend time on it.

    Now let's imagine a different set of answers.

    Q: "Why do you want a website?"

    A: "We need to grow, to get more customers!"

    Q: "So why now? What changed?"

    A: "I just read this Hubspot case study on a swimming pool company--how they reached so many more people with a website and blog--and we're a swimming pool company! We've been doing it by phone and a store and service vans all these years; I freak out when I think of all the customers we've been missing out on!"

    Ah ha. Now we've got something.

    What have I learned? The guy is a relative newbie online, but excited about the possibilities. He's probably seen Hubspot's pricing (I'll confirm) which ain't cheap, and that has likely anchored him to a decent price level. If not, I can refer him back to Hubspot's pricing to do the job for me. He has a personal, emotional reason for making change. And he knows WHY he wants to make that change.

    I will ask more questions and work on customizing that presentation of the solution so he sees my solution as the ONLY one that's a true fit for him. This is worth my time to pursue.

    Qualifying is not about making people buy. It's about discovering who is worth spending more time and energy on.

    One final thing for this post.

    People get excited WAY TOO SOON in selling.

    Qualify first, sell later.

    When I'm qualifying, I'm Mr. Spock. I am not emotionally involved. This person could turn out to be a total flake.

    Only after a prospect has been qualified In do I get excited.

    Now I have someone I can really help. Now I can get emotionally involved.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      In my calls with a sales guy who I've taken under my wings,
      who btw was new to sales as a profession and is #1 in a team of 10
      in 2 months, we go over the deep reasons why he needs to say certain words,
      in the right sequence.

      This makes him flexible to whatever he encounters on his calls,
      therefore not tied to a set of questions or statements.

      For example, there can be a number of questions
      around what the prospect has previously bought and liked
      so his prospects answers reinforce the need to be consistent.

      People will hold on to stated beliefs and past actions
      so strongly that it's been tested and written about in the book Influence.
      It's under the law of Consistency.

      So all we are doing is holding the prospect to be consistent
      with his past actions and what he just stated.

      The line of questioning is not so important
      as long as he's getting the prospect to divulge his past
      actions.

      The prospect doesn't argue against himself,
      therefore you aren't swatting off objections
      after you present what you have on offer because you set
      up the offer to align with past actions.

      There may be some questions around what exactly he's getting,
      however if the first part is done right,
      the prospect has already mentally made the decision to buy.

      This process works so good, he called and closed country head of Goldman Sacks,
      the country head for the world's largest freight brokering company,
      the country head of one of the world's top 4 accounting firms.

      He brirought in a deal which is 50 times bigger than previous record.

      On his calls he get's job offers because they are so impressed
      with how he handles the calls.

      One was from the founder of the country's fastest growing luxury brand.

      He's selling 3 subscriptions bundled together of business media.

      Best,
      Doctor E. Vile
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Thanks Claude.

    Thanks also to Jason, Ewen and the other contributors to a good thread.

    Not wanting to go over the ground already laid I just wanted to ask how you feel about getting new people who have shown they have the potential much like the guy Ewen has worked with up and performing at a higher level quickly.

    Personally I've tended to get my best protégés out in front of some of my better long term clients who I tend to introduce to the new face and someone I have great confidence in and who could learn a lot by assisting them with arriving at a solution to their situation today.

    Does it help or hinder to take this approach?

    When it is a new client and the understudy is tagging along I tend to take the approach of observe and learn and only offer comment if requested.

    My feeling about this is that much like the comment from Jason...

    Qualifying is finding out what's really going on in your prospect's world, and then matching it up beside what you offer and determining if you're the best fit.
    ...is that someone new "assumes" that our business is a good fit because that is why they are i this situation.

    I think it takes a relatively long time before someone really gets a handle on this.

    There are star performers like in Ewen's example but in many cases it takes being in the right environment and having the right mentor to guide or the right mix of pre-qualification systems coupled with the approach from the business manager or entrepreneur to recognise that there is a star performer just waiting to flourish inside the individual who you see some spark in.

    I made a mistake once to let a superstar leave my fold because of multiple reasons of which included other peers not liking the "overachievement" that they exhibited and the failure on my part to recognise they were worth over 10X what their nearest counterpart was.

    Although it did take time they absorbed the fundamentals of what I assumed was second nature although honed over a long period and they understood the principles shared by Claude, Jason and Ewen that seems easy but really does require work to refine so the process becomes instinctual.

    Once you have that instinctual approach embedded it does become second nature to ask those right questions and seek the answers and recognise the "tells" that once pointed out someone who doesn't know will go "yeah"...I saw that...but..

    Thank to all contributors.

    Ozi.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post


      There are star performers like in Ewen's example but in many cases it takes being in the right environment and having the right mentor to guide or the right mix of pre-qualification systems coupled with the approach from the business manager or entrepreneur to recognise that there is a star performer just waiting to flourish inside the individual who you see some spark in.
      Where my protege is working, the co-founder and others in the organization recognize he is a star performer and want him to be their sales trainer.

      However the-co founder has anti superstar policies.

      Today he is handing in his notice to leave at the end of the month.

      The next 3 below him are leaving to.

      They all account for about 90% of the sales within their department.

      The co-founder was at a Brian Tracey seminar just last week.

      He's brought in a consultant to observe and make recommendations.

      There's been a human resources specialist brought in to
      make recommendations to adjust the work environment.

      Yet the anti superstar policies stay.

      The co founder takes him out to lunch and my protege tells him what the ant-superstar policies are.

      Now he is reaping the rewards for them.

      When 90% of the sales creators walk out, the remaining will produce less
      because they witnessed others making more sales than them which gave them hope
      of making more sales themselves. That point of reference will be gone.

      There's no saving them when they won't accept their policies are driving the best away.

      That's a case of recognizing talent but not nurturing it.

      The human resources manager didn't think he was suitable for the role
      when applying for the job.

      This means they are likely turning away superstars
      because they have no clue what their traits are so they can spot them.

      Best,
      Doctor E. Vile
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      • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Where my protege is working, the co-founder and others in the organization recognize he is a star performer and want him to be their sales trainer.

        However the-co founder has anti superstar policies.

        Today he is handing in his notice to leave at the end of the month.

        The next 3 below him are leaving to.

        They all account for about 90% of the sales within their department....

        Yet the anti superstar policies stay.

        The co founder takes him out to lunch and my protege tells him what the ant-superstar policies are. .....

        There's no saving them when they won't accept their policies are driving the best away.

        That's a case of recognizing talent but not nurturing it.

        The human resources manager didn't think he was suitable for the role
        when applying for the job.

        This means they are likely turning away superstars
        because they have no clue what their traits are so they can spot them.

        Best,
        Doctor E. Vile
        Yes...

        When management and HR like the Status Quo...

        Average Performance = Average profits

        When the management recognises that they have a seat on a rocketship then...

        Superstar performance = Stellar profits
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

          Yes...

          When management and HR like the Status Quo...

          Average Performance = Average profits

          When the management recognises that they have a seat on a rocketship then...

          Superstar performance = Stellar profits
          The co-founder has said he wants a systematized sales process,
          the daily amount what each person sells and a room full of 100 salespeople.

          He has growth on his mind, but his policies are anti-superstars
          and won't change them despite clearly stated.

          So he's taking a serious fall.

          Sometimes you have to let people hit rock bottom
          to make the change themselves because intervention by somebody else
          is fruitless.

          In his case, it is.

          Best,
          Doctor E. Vile.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Last night I was ordering some delivery Chinese food. I started laughing because she was asking the right questions, but she sounded like a robot.

    Let's not forget that knowing HOW to qualify involves more than just what words to say.

    Tonality and a conversational approach are critical.

    I have heard lot's of people start sounding like a robot when asking qualifying questions. What is this, an interrogation?

    When you have the list of questions, and you know what they are going to say in advance, and this is number 50 today, it can become easy to disengage.

    Strict adherence to a list of questions can be counterproductive if you start sounding like a robot.

    I sit most of the time when I am on the phone. When it's time to qualify, I stand up, open my eyes wide, and listen as if they are telling me where to find the treasure map.

    Don't sound like this lady.

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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by DaniMc View Post

      Strict adherence to a list of questions can be counterproductive if you start sounding like a robot.

      I sit most of the time when I am on the phone. When it's time to qualify, I stand up, open my eyes wide, and listen as if they are telling me where to find the treasure map.

      Don't sound like this lady.

      Dude, Where's My Car? (2/5) Movie CLIP - And Theeennn... (2000) HD - YouTube
      Great stuff.

      Yeah, you have to engage. Be interested..even fascinated by what they are telling you.

      I never read my questions. Any more, I don't even use a pad. I want it to be a conversation. Of course, I'm steering it. But they need to feel like you are interested in them. Actually listening to a person talk is a huge compliment.

      I love John Durham's response, Me: "Really? OMG!" (All the way through).


      I've had angry prospects say, "I hate salesmen!" (I'm not kidding)
      I say, "Wow, what happened?" and I'll listen until they run out of steam......"Wow, what did you do then?"......."How did they take it?"

      At the end of the tirade, I say "Man, you sure have a lot more patience than I have. I think you did the best thing"

      When they start out by saying, "I threw the last salesman out the door!", all I think is, "Ok, this will take a half hour longer. I'll just listen to his tale of conquest, bond with him, and get on with it"
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      • Profile picture of the author mak25
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        When they start out by saying, "I threw the last salesman out the door!", all I think is, "Ok, this will take a half hour longer. I'll just listen to his tale of conquest, bond with him, and get on with it"
        ...and then????
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        • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
          Originally Posted by mak25 View Post

          ...and then????
          "There is no and then."

          I used to play pool with regulars at a bar. We would use those lines when somebody was on a good run of the table. If they got to a point they did not have a shot - "There is no and then".

          ===

          Back to this discussion, I think it contributes to high turnover when companies have reps call anybody and everybody, and don't really have a qualifying step.

          Dan
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by mak25 View Post

          ...and then????
          When people are telling you an emotional story, it's like they are running out of gas. Eventually, they get emotionally spent. And the way they see you, has radically changed from, "The salesman that wants to sell me" to "My new friend that is on my side".

          I have to say very little to get them there.

          When there is a lull in the exchange, I might say, "You seem like the kind of person whos' opinion I'd value. May I show you something?"

          And then I open the box.


          And then?

          (I knew you were just joking. But it made me think about it)

          "And then?"
          "Tell me more"
          "Wow, that sounds like a story"
          "Why do you think they did that?"
          "That reminds me of a point you brought up earlier....." and just take up where you left off.
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          • Profile picture of the author mak25
            This thread has some very enlightening and great info.
            My thanks to all who have offered their answers and their qualifying questions.

            I'm an old head, but still have soooo much to learn.

            Yeh Claude, I was just making a silly joke based off the video posted by Dan.
            Sorry if it came across as if I was some butthead.

            One last thing Claude, if you ask a business owner if they advertise, and they say no, do you cut it off right there and then, or do you persue it?

            Would you consider a website (mobile or otherwise) advertising? If yes, if you were selling websites, would you open with 'do you advertise'?
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            • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
              Originally Posted by mak25 View Post


              One last thing Claude, if you ask a business owner if they advertise, and they say no, do you cut it off right there and then, or do you persue it?

              Would you consider a website (mobile or otherwise) advertising? If yes, if you were selling websites, would you open with 'do you advertise'
              ?
              1st - Yes its advertising.
              2nd - You cannot bail with one wrong answer. In this case the "no".

              When you qualify properly, you NEED to ask the question a few times
              from a few different angles.

              Here is why:

              Sometimes people lie.
              Sometimes they aren't ready to answer yet.
              Sometimes they just don't understand the question.
              Sometimes they aren't really paying attention yet.

              I can keep going on for a few hours.

              The more they talk, the more they open up and the more honest they get.
              You can literally just assume the first few questions you ask are
              not going to be answered accurately. So repeat the question - just ask it differently.

              Pretend you're a detective trying to get to the truth.
              -- because that's what you are.
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              • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
                Every time I see this post, I think of Columbo leaving the room and turning around to ask just one more question. LOL

                Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

                1st - Yes its advertising.
                2nd - You cannot bail with one wrong answer. In this case the "no".

                When you qualify properly, you NEED to ask the question a few times
                from a few different angles.

                Here is why:

                Sometimes people lie.
                Sometimes they aren't ready to answer yet.
                Sometimes they just don't understand the question.
                Sometimes they aren't really paying attention yet.

                I can keep going on for a few hours.

                The more they talk, the more they open up and the more honest they get.
                You can literally just assume the first few questions you ask are
                not going to be answered accurately. So repeat the question - just ask it differently.

                Pretend you're a detective trying to get to the truth.
                -- because that's what you are.
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                • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
                  Originally Posted by bizgrower View Post

                  Every time I see this post, I think of Columbo leaving the room and turning around to ask just one more question. Columbo's Great Investigative Style - YouTube LOL
                  When he said "I'm kinda pressed sir, so I'm going to run along." starts to leave, and then almost absent mindedly turns around with another question.

                  That is a real bonafied sales technique.

                  When the prospect thinks "it's over" the walls of self protection come down
                  and the "o by the way" question keeps the guard down and allows you to keep
                  things moving forward in a non threatening way.

                  Most of that clip can be used as a sales 101 guide ...
                  Thanks for posting it. Good stuff.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                    Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

                    When he said "I'm kinda pressed sir, so I'm going to run along." starts to leave, and then almost absent mindedly turns around with another question.

                    That is a real bonafied sales technique.

                    When the prospect thinks "it's over" the walls of self protection come down
                    and the "o by the way" question keeps the guard down and allows you to keep
                    things moving forward in a non threatening way.

                    Most of that clip can be used as a sales 101 guide ...
                    Thanks for posting it. Good stuff.

                    When in the customer's home..after a three hour sales performance, I would let out a breath of air, sigh a little....and say, "Well, now that the sales part is finally over...before I go, may I ask one question?"


                    And now we are off in a whole different sales groove. They think the sale is over when I have everything packed up, and I'm almost at the door. No, I have a few things left. And yes, I've closed plenty of sales...on the way out the door.

                    Just like Columbo.

                    I know it sounds like I would badger people until they bought, but it wasn't like that. If I even had an indication that they were pulling away from me....and really didn't want to buy, I would stop.

                    But if they were moving toward buying, no matter what the pace...I'd keep it alive.

                    All the person ever had to say to me was "No", and I'd be done.

                    Of course, with proper list selection, and qualifying up front, most sales just need one closing question, as a detail. This realization changed everything, and made selling so much easier.
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by mak25 View Post


              Yeh Claude, I was just making a silly joke based off the video posted by Dan.
              Sorry if it came across as if I was some butthead.
              Are you kidding? I got the joke right away.


              Originally Posted by mak25 View Post

              One last thing Claude, if you ask a business owner if they advertise, and they say no, do you cut it off right there and then, or do you persue it?
              When they say "No", it's almost always followed by "We sell by word of mouth". And that means they don't advertise. I might ask, "And in the beginning, when you had no word of mouth, how did you advertise?"

              I may ask a few more questions to see if they are even listening? If they don't engage, I move on. But some prospects just take a few questions to open up. I just want them to tell me a story. A story where they are the hero, or the victim. About an evil ad rep, or ads that failed. I want him to get angry, sad, happy. That story, if you listen...will tell you everything you need to know, and develop a bond between you...because he couldn't wait to get it off his chest. And you were there for him.

              "The hardest shell, protects the softest yoke" -Claude

              But here is my secret; I only stopped by places that I knew advertised. Large Yellow Page ads, coupon clippers, newspaper ads....I already know they advertise, and so I already know how the conversation is going to go. They may still lie, but that just lets me know they aren't a prospect.


              Originally Posted by mak25 View Post

              Would you consider a website (mobile or otherwise) advertising? If yes, if you were selling websites, would you open with 'do you advertise'?
              I don't care if they think of it as advertising. I think of it as advertising. But whatever they think of it as....I'm fine with it. If they say, "Advertising doesn't work" I may just agree, and tell them that they are right, and that's why we developed online marketing. Whatever they don't like, our thing is called something else.

              If I ask, "How do you advertise" and they say, "Well, Newspapers, and lots of online videos, mobile site, blogs, a website, PPC ads...." I know I'm talking to a player.

              I may ask to see their online ads. If I see a real need for what I have, I'll suggest it. But some guys are really savvy. And they may already be doing everything I could do for them. If so, I congratulate them, and move on. Just two successful businessmen, sharing ideas. That's all it ever really is.


              If I was selling websites, and that's all I offered...if they have a good one, I'd like to find out as quickly as possible. But I assume every intelligent business owner already has a good one, so I use that as a condition for me to see them...that they already have a website.

              I'd ask if they advertise anyway. In my experience, if they don't already advertise locally, they probably have a cheap website...or none at all. And the question gives you a little rapport building time. If you ask, "Do you have a website?", it's just too easy to say, "Yes" to get rid of you.

              In another thread, Ewen mentioned a guy that advertises "Full Color Ad In Every Home For 1 Cent Each" or something like that. That had a grabber appeal.

              If someone called me out of the blue and said, "Claude, This is Mike Jones. I can get your full color ad in local homes for just a penny each...would you like to know more?"

              I would say, "Yes".....and you would be in. Just adapt that to online marketing. For example; "Claude, Mike Jones. I can get local shoppers to see your online listing for just a penny (or dime, or quarter) a piece. Do you want to know more?"....and I would say "Yes".

              Now, you better have a way to do that.


              I just read Ken Michaels' last post. Man, he really knows his stuff.

              Added later; If you keep this in mind, it will multiply your sales. Imagine that whatever they say, it's just the next natural step in the sale. If they say, "I never buy advertising", imagine that this is what everyone says, and it's actually an expected part of your sales process. If you act like their statement is what you expected, they will tend to merge with your way of thinking.

              Now, to do this, you either need to think very fast on your feet, or you have to imagine this all before you get there, and run the best answers through your mind. This is the practice that makes you bulletproof.


              Take that, Michaels!
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  • Profile picture of the author missmiss
    Hi Claude!

    I like the question flow of your qualifying questions. It's kinda like how lawyers guide questions, knowing the desired answer beforehand.

    I like mapping out sales conversations, but struggle when prospects think they know the answer.

    For example: "Are your print ads reaching more people, or less people every year?" (Always Less)"

    And they say "The Same" without really knowing especially if they don't use any tracking of any kind.

    Frustrating. I need backup questions to get them there.

    Good thread. Love question flow.


    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    Well, in a different thread, it was mentioned that the qualifying stage of selling is not discussed enough. I agree.

    When I say qualifying, here is what I mean;

    The questions you ask when prospecting, to see if the prospect is a likely candidate for your service.

    OR
    The questions you ask at the beginning of a presentation, that gives you all the information you want to tell you that the prospect is likely to buy. It also lets you know what specific areas to talk about, and how to customize your presentation to fit them perfectly.

    Sometimes, as in phone selling, these are actually the same thing, the same questions, asked once.

    But maybe it would be helpful to separate the question into;

    What you ask on the phone to determine if you want an appointment, or not.
    What you ask at the beginning of a presentation to help you steer your presentation.


    I'll just start with the questions I ask when talking to a prospect on the phone or when speaking to them personally. This is still in the prospecting phase.


    "Do you advertise?" "How?" (assume the answer is Print)

    "Are your print ads reaching more people, or less people every year?" (Always Less)

    "Where are they going instead?" (I may ask a few more questions. I need them to say "online")

    "Do you have customers now that find you online?" (Yes)

    "Would you like more of them?" (They have to say "Yes" or ask how I do it)

    There's more to qualifying, of course, but there's a start. Guys?
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by missmiss View Post

      Hi Claude!

      I like the question flow of your qualifying questions. It's kinda like how lawyers guide questions, knowing the desired answer beforehand.

      I like mapping out sales conversations, but struggle when prospects think they know the answer.

      For example: "Are your print ads reaching more people, or less people every year?" (Always Less)"

      And they say "The Same" without really knowing especially if they don't use any tracking of any kind.

      Frustrating. I need backup questions to get them there.

      Good thread. Love question flow.
      Most companies don't know how to track response.

      But the answer to the question, "Do you advertise?" "How?" will get me all the information I need. By the time they have answered that question, they are engaged. This answer may take several minutes. If they just say "Newspaper", I'm not going to ask the next question, I'll find out how often, how many people say they are seeing the ad in the newspaper, have they tried other forms of advertising.

      By the time I'm ready to ask, "Are your print ads reaching more people, or less people every year?" , I already know how they are going to answer.

      Every prospect buys at a different speed. They think at different speeds, they are engaged at different levels. You adapt your question to get the response you want.

      It's rare that the questions and answers flow like in a textbook.

      But here is what I say when they say "About the same".

      "are you seeing more or less people saying that they are here because of your print ads?"

      They will say "Less".
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  • I like Claude's tactic.

    Let them rant, rage, criticise, moan, complain and brag.

    And always be their trusted confidant (be the ONE person who actually listens…and understands).

    But there comes a point - (not too quickly let them talk and talk for a good while) - again the time does arrive when you need to move on.

    Wait for a pause (they have to take a breathe or they'll spontaneously combust).

    And then say - "Yes, good point…by the way…(and direct the conversation back on track).


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      I like Claude's tactic.

      Let them rant, rage, criticise, moan, complain and brag.

      And always be their trusted confidant (be the ONE person who actually listens…and understands).

      But there comes a point - (not too quickly let them talk and talk for a good while) - again the time does arrive when you need to move on.

      Wait for a pause (they have to take a breathe or they'll spontaneously combust).

      And then say - "Yes, good point…by the way(and direct the conversation back on track).


      Steve
      Steve; The reason I like to say, "Earlier you brought up an interesting point..." or "That reminds me of something you said earlier" is that it still sounds like you are carrying on their part of the conversation. It sounds like you are going to bring up something else they said.

      They feel like there is no interruption to their preoccupation with themselves. That's why it's stronger.


      If they are in a story about themselves, you don't want to wake them up....you want to enter the dream they are already having.

      Let that sink in......slowly, like a warm bath.




      Added as an afterthought. By the way, there are people that can never get back on track. They are never going to talk about your offer. Eventually that becomes evident. They only want to tell you stories, and nothing else.

      No matter what I'm asking or saying in a sales situation, the arrow is slowly getting closer to the Bullseye. I may take an indirect route, but I never take my eye off why I"m there. If I see that there is no way to really get the person back on track, I'll politely excuse myself.

      But you know what? Even lonely people are nice, so I may let them tell me another story, and then thank them for the experience. Some people really are interesting.
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  • Like the old saying...

    The best conversationalist hardly ever says anything - they just ask questions and listen.

    It's not unusual for clients to sell the deal and buy it all by themselves.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Like the old saying...

      The best conversationalist hardly ever says anything - they just listen to the others.


      Steve
      "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."

      Epictetus
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by bizgrower View Post

        "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."

        Epictetus
        Ironic that deaf people can't hear or talk. You'd think the math would be in their favor.

        In my family, the saying is, "You have two nostrils and one mouth. So you should inhale through your nose, twice as much as you swallow food"

        Seriously, that saying is big in my family.
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        • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          Ironic that deaf people can't hear or talk. You'd think the math would be in their favor.

          In my family, the saying is, "You have two nostrils and one mouth. So you should inhale through your nose, twice as much as you swallow food"

          Seriously, that saying is big in my family.
          Good info in this thread. I think when some people say "you have the gift of gab," it really means they gabbed and you have the gift of listening and advancing the conversation with questions. To them, though, you are a brilliant conversationalist!

          Regarding family sayings, my dad always said to me, "How long have you been alive, not counting tomorrow?"
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    ^^^^
    We know.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    So so sad ... I have been waiting for this thread to blow up and get some real conversation going.
    Instead, just a few good tidbits and then flat line. I don't know if it's because qualifying isn't sexy
    or its just part of the WF death knell. Whatever the reason - it sucks.

    This is my attempt to further this conversation:

    Not that long ago I was asked this question.

    Originally Posted by Mav91890 View Post

    In your opinion whats the best way to qualify someone to make sure they can afford what I offer?
    And this was my reply

    Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

    Ask them what type of advertising they do now and how often.

    Extrapolate the current amount they are spending as the base
    for what they can afford.

    Then come up with clever ways to verify they were not just throwing
    made up numbers at you.

    Another words ask the same questions repeatedly - only different
    so they don't realize it's the same set of qualifying questions.

    It is how detectives, psychologist's, reporters, etc .... get to the real info.

    That might seem difficult - with practice it's very easy.

    Edit:
    I am not familiar with the "straight line." I know who wrote the book
    but not the actual formula - can you explain it to me?

    Original post here: http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...ml#post9896272

    Edit:
    I just reread that entire thread. There is actually some interesting stuff in it for
    anyone who is on the newer side of sales / qualifying
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      Ask them what type of advertising they do now and how often.

      Extrapolate the current amount they are spending as the base
      for what they can afford.

      Then come up with clever ways to verify they were not just throwing
      made up numbers at you.

      Another words ask the same questions repeatedly - only different
      so they don't realize it's the same set of qualifying questions.


      It is how detectives, psychologist's, reporters, etc .... get to the real info.

      That might seem difficult - with practice it's very easy.
      I can always rely on you to make a thread smarter. Although this thread is doing pretty well.

      Because I don't sell on a cold call on the phone, this detective work wasn't as necessary. Meaning, I'm in front of the prospect, usually in their home or office. I know a lot going in.

      But....I still do the asking of questions repeatedly, from different angles. Why? Because I'm looking for them to state a problem in a way that perfectly fits a solution I have.

      I'm essentially changing their objection to a form that more perfectly matches my answer.

      This is assuming the answer I have is something I can't change.

      For example; "I'm never going to pay $2,000 for an (anything)"

      I want to change that to, "It would have to be the best thing on the market for me to even consider paying $2,000 for an (anything)"

      So I ask qualifying information until I get the softer declaration, that I can transition to my answer more smoothly

      And of course, they forget everything they have declared up until that moment.

      Humans.
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Meaning, I'm in front of the prospect, usually in their home or office. I know a lot going in.
        So do I, In most cases I know more then they do. I ask and ask and ask anyway.

        1) builds credibility
        2) builds authority
        3) lets me know the direction they are leaning
        4) lets me root out any misinformation I may have
        5) etc,etc,etc

        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        But....I still do the asking of questions repeatedly, from different angles. Why? Because I'm looking for them to state a problem in a way that perfectly fits a solution I have.

        I'm essentially changing their objection to a form that more perfectly matches my answer.
        Pure platinum folks


        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        So I ask qualifying information until I get the softer declaration, that I can transition to my answer more smoothly
        My qualification process starts during the warm up. I guesstimate 95% of the
        people never even realize what's happening. - Some of the sharper ones do
        and the ones with brass will call me out on it and I will just tell them ...

        I'm pre qualifying you so we don't waste each others time.

        That almost always puts things back on track. The flip side is occasionally
        it just really pisses them off ... o well, in that respect it's a numbers game.

        See, I'm not looking for softer declarations ... I'm looking for the hard-line.
        If I know where the roadblocks are ahead of time then I can avoid them or
        handle them in a way I think is appropriate ... in a way they will appreciate.

        The way my calls start, is with me verifying a purchase.
        I confirm the shipping address, NAME and credit card info.

        If the purchase name is not the person I'm talking to I stop dead.
        I only talk to who made the order. (everyone else is a waste of time)

        Since I already have that information, since they already purchased from us
        and since I introduce myself as a senior business consultant, my authority is
        established within just a few minutes. So I hardly ever get push-back when
        I start asking the real questions.

        Cold calling requires a few changes with the pre qualify - You have to build
        the authority as you go ... with your questions and responses

        When calling the other way, your authority is already established, your just
        reinforcing it with the proper questions.

        meh - anyway, that's my opinion on the subject

        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        And of course, they forget everything they have declared up until that moment.

        Humans.
        Yup, I see that every day ... not just in the sales world. It IS an interesting
        thing to behold.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post


          I'm pre qualifying you so we don't waste each others time.
          I don't know if I would say that to an 80 year old consumer. It might just cause their heads to explode. But to another business owner? Absolutely. The faster they realize that we are two business people, and are equals, the better.


          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          See, I'm not looking for softer declarations ... I'm looking for the hard-line.
          If I know where the roadblocks are ahead of time then I can avoid them or
          handle them in a way I think is appropriate ... in a way they will appreciate.

          The way my calls start, is with me verifying a purchase.
          I confirm the shipping address, NAME and credit card info.
          So, are you calling a list of buyers for your company? Or are you calling lists of other companies buyers (I'm assuming because you have the card number, they are your customers)

          Are these little purchases where you're going to sell a much larger ticket?

          I can't remember the Guru, but a popular I Guru has a book he sells for $5 or so, and he has a small staff that calls them back for a $5,5000 seminar. That's his funnel. They buy a $5 book, and BAM! to a $5,500 seminar. Of course, he's the author of the book, and the book sells the seminar.

          By the way, depending on where I am in the presentation (and other factors) I may want to enter the thought stream that the prospect is having , especially if they are close to parallel to my thinking.

          But sometimes, I want to break their train of thought, because I know where that train is leading, and it's not to the credit card.


          I was talking to a store manager that said, "I don't get why you insist on me buying today. Why do I need to buy this now, and not later?".
          Of course, most salespeople would whimper about some sales contest they were in...or maybe use a technique they read.

          Me? Claude The Merciless? I said, "Because if you buy today, I get paid tomorrow". I said it in complete deadpan.

          He thought about it for a few seconds and said something like, "That actually makes sense. OK, I'll take it".
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          • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            I don't know if I would say that to an 80 year old consumer. It might just cause their heads to explode. But to another business owner? Absolutely. The faster they realize that we are two business people, and are equals, the better.




            So, are you calling a list of buyers for your company? Or are you calling lists of other companies buyers (I'm assuming because you have the card number, they are your customers)

            Are these little purchases where you're going to sell a much larger ticket?

            I can't remember the Guru, but a popular I Guru has a book he sells for $5 or so, and he has a small staff that calls them back for a $5,5000 seminar. That's his funnel. They buy a $5 book, and BAM! to a $5,500 seminar. Of course, he's the author of the book, and the book sells the seminar.

            Our buyers.Yup. Similar model. Our front end is $19.95 - $189.95
            The best seller by a large margin is $89.95 before the obligatory upsell.

            Huge differences tho - our back ends are tangible products with ongoing service calls.
            You can't pay me enough to sell any type of intangible... specially tickets to a seminar.

            In case you're wondering. $89 is the break even point on the CoCA

            btw:
            We have had this discussion before. What gives?... Dementia? - Alzheimer's? - need a Snickers??
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

              btw:
              We have had this discussion before. What gives?... Dementia? - Alzheimer's? - need a Snickers??
              The problem is, I've had hundreds of nearly identical discussions in the last few years. And I've told the story (of the seminar from a book) hundreds of times. It all kind of blends together after awhile.

              By the way, what is the problem with services/seminars? Is it the thought that someone else is fulfilling? Is it the number of anticipated refunds? Is it that it's harder to upsell to another of your own products?


              By the way, the $5,500 seminar? My guess is that the majority of those are financed, and that probably most aren't 100% collected. I was going to buy financed paper from a sales organization that told me that their selling price was $2,200. But out of over 200 sales, that I was thinking of buying...not one was at the stated price. All of them were negotiated, discounted, cobbled together deals. And most of them were behind on the payments.

              Lots of red flags. I offered them 10 cents on the dollar of the outstanding balances. They almost took it.
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            • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
              Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

              btw:
              We have had this discussion before. What gives?... Dementia? - Alzheimer's? - need a Snickers??
              I'd say Snickers, or at least a read of the psychopath and coffee thread. http://www.warriorforum.com/off-topi...l#post10349485
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      A few good tidbits?? I have to disagree with you on that, Ken.

      I have to agree.

      Ken; What you know about qualifying (and sales in general) could fill a boat. Same with me and Jason.

      Because you already have a deep nuanced knowledge, it's easy to think that advice (that you already know) isn't valuable. But the vast majority of salespeople, even successful ones, haven't heard this stuff before.

      Yes, I'm massaging you. I realized that, about half way through my last sentence, and just thought it would be funny to finish the thought.
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      A few good tidbits?? I have to disagree with you on that, Ken.
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I have to agree.

      Ken; What you know about qualifying (and sales in general) could fill a boat. Same with me and Jason.

      Because you already have a deep nuanced knowledge, it's easy to think that advice (that you already know) isn't valuable. But the vast majority of salespeople, even successful ones, haven't heard this stuff before.
      Yeah, you guys are right. - Sorry about that.

      I have really lost my mojo over this last year.
      I might be done. That burning desire to conquer the world has evaporated.
      My grand plan was to build an empire that my great great grandchildren
      would be eventually be running.

      Instead, I'm now seriously considering selling out.

      I'm going to give myself a year to pull my head out of my ass. If I can't find
      my passion again ... then I guess that's, that.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        Yeah, you guys are right. - Sorry about that.

        I have really lost my mojo over this last year.
        I might be done. That burning desire to conquer the world has evaporated.
        My grand plan was to build an empire that my great great grandchildren
        would be eventually be running.

        Instead, I'm now seriously considering selling out.

        I'm going to give myself a year to pull my head out of my ass. If I can't find
        my passion again ... then I guess that's, that.
        And, it may be time to sell.

        Or...it may be time to step back and gain some perspective, some clarity that you don't currently have. Probably not a loss of passion for the biz but a loss of some other kind that you are dealing with.

        Maybe it's one of those "kicked down the stairs" times, in some area of your life, and it's like you're in a 10 round fight, it's round three and you feel like you've already gone 30 rounds.

        Are we having fun yet?

        Maybe time to just step back, give yourself a breather, look at what's going on in your life.

        Whatever it is...don't ignore it.

        Go get a physical. Make sure you're healthy. You could be fighting some health issue you aren't aware of.

        How is your mental state? Getting enough rest? Eating well? Change any meds lately? Any additional stress that you've had to cope with?

        Any of the above can have an impact on your mental/emotional well-being.

        No pressure to discuss stuff here. That's your call. It's cool either way.

        Just don't ignore it, ok?
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        Yeah, you guys are right. - Sorry about that.

        I have really lost my mojo over this last year.
        I might be done. That burning desire to conquer the world has evaporated.
        My grand plan was to build an empire that my great great grandchildren
        would be eventually be running.

        Instead, I'm now seriously considering selling out.

        I'm going to give myself a year to pull my head out of my ass. If I can't find
        my passion again ... then I guess that's, that.

        Maybe it's time to teach what you know in seminars, books, coaching.

        My MOJO is gone too, but I'm 60. If you're 40...that's too young.
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        • Profile picture of the author mak25
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          My MOJO is gone too, but I'm 60.
          Damn, I'm 63 Claude. My MOJO isn't what it used to be, but because I had some bad breaks and made some stupid decisions, I have to get it up everyday. MOJO that is. Not what you were just thinking you dirty old man

          kenmichaels, if you're just 40, c'mon man, there's plenty left in your tank. And your knowledge has given me more than enough to keep me keepin' on. I thank you for what you (and others Claude including) have taught me about sales and selling. Can't say thanks enough to you guys.
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by mak25 View Post

            Damn, I'm 63 Claude. My MOJO isn't what it used to be, but because I had some bad breaks and made some stupid decisions, I have to get it up everyday. MOJO that is. Not what you were just thinking you dirty old man

            kenmichaels, if you're just 40, c'mon man, there's plenty left in your tank. And your knowledge has given me more than enough to keep me keepin' on. I thank you for what you (and others Claude including) have taught me about sales and selling. Can't say thanks enough to you guys.

            I need to say that I don't know how old Michaels is. But I assume he's younger than I am.

            But I know there have been long stretches when I just wasn't motivated at all. I would work a day a week, just to make one or two sales for the week. The thing that always got me to go to work was a new trainee. It would force me to work a full day, every day.

            Trying to trick myself into being motivated didn't work. But obligating myself to another person did the trick.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rearden
        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        Yeah, you guys are right. - Sorry about that.

        I have really lost my mojo over this last year.
        I might be done. That burning desire to conquer the world has evaporated.
        My grand plan was to build an empire that my great great grandchildren
        would be eventually be running.

        Instead, I'm now seriously considering selling out.

        I'm going to give myself a year to pull my head out of my ass. If I can't find
        my passion again ... then I guess that's, that.
        I'm reading this guy's story here who seems to be a repetitive screw-up, but has somewhat "Zen'd" up, after leading a life of high highs, and low lows.

        I'm about half-way through "Choose Yourself," fairly good book.
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      • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        Yeah, you guys are right. - Sorry about that.

        I have really lost my mojo over this last year.
        I might be done. That burning desire to conquer the world has evaporated.
        My grand plan was to build an empire that my great great grandchildren
        would be eventually be running.

        Instead, I'm now seriously considering selling out.

        I'm going to give myself a year to pull my head out of my ass. If I can't find
        my passion again ... then I guess that's, that.
        Maybe keep the company, promote yourself to "Chairman of the Board" so to speak and get out of
        the damn daily stuffs and into strategies for growth or other business. Relax for a while first.

        Rather than handing your great, great grandchildren an empire, maybe your legacy ought to be that you taught them to do something productive and get better at it.

        I think we all know people who were handed super cars in high school, businesses later, and never amounted to a damn thing.

        Sorry if I'm speaking out of school and I realize I'm not as familiar with you as Claude and others are.
        I do appreciate your contributions here. You don't even have your AARP card yet?
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      • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        Yeah, you guys are right. - Sorry about that.

        I have really lost my mojo over this last year.
        I might be done. That burning desire to conquer the world has evaporated.
        My grand plan was to build an empire that my great great grandchildren
        would be eventually be running.

        Instead, I'm now seriously considering selling out.

        I'm going to give myself a year to pull my head out of my ass. If I can't find
        my passion again ... then I guess that's, that.
        I've been here before and let me just say that there is no need to be hard on yourself about this. There is no need to fight it. Instead - just go with it.

        Float down stream. If things are too hard (after the startup phase) then something isn't right. You are getting the bat-signal. If you ignore it, massive frustration awaits.

        I can say the absolute worst thing you could do would be to just walk away. You would regret it later.

        And - we both already know the outcome of the next year if you don't take action now - the conclusion has already been reached - it will just take a year to play out.

        Instead, maybe consider that your original plan to build an organization was right, and that you just need to act on that realization.

        Instead of taking the next year to decide if you should quit or not, why not take the next year and be dedicated to working your way out - while still keeping things going?

        In a year, you could be down to 5-6 hours per week - just checking the numbers, holding accountable, and doing some training. You'd still own the business, keep the financial rewards.

        Most importantly, you would be able to pursue what gives you the fuel now. Branch out your business interests into other hobbies.

        You are getting clues about the next fulfilling stage of your career - just go with them and enjoy it. Trust your gut - give yourself a week to decide. Nothing takes a year to decide. A week or two is long enough.

        Lost mojo means you have stagnated and the current goals are not big enough to excite you any more. You could get really excited right now - your dream life might be right around the corner from where you are.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Here's a video I did on how I teach my final expense life insurance agents how to effectively pre-qualify.

    My findings are that pre-qualification is the most overlooked step in the sales process I teach.

    Asking the "tough" questions up front is hard for newer salespeople because we think the sale may "get away" from us.

    Us experienced salesmen know that at worst the sale wasn't there, and at best, asking the tough questions draws in the suspect closer in a more engaging process.

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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    This is from Gorilla Group's (a large internet marketing agency) job description for an Ecommerce Consultant position (Wordy, but at least they are paying attention to qualifying.):

    "The Ecommerce Consultant will enable expert counseling to our prospective clients on ecommerce and platform best practices during the Sales Discovery in order to deliver a proposed solution. The Ecommerce Consultant will be responsible for leading prospects through Sales Discovery by facilitating the identification and documentation of scope requirements."
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by bizgrower View Post

      "The Ecommerce Consultant will enable expert counseling to our prospective clients on ecommerce and platform best practices during the Sales Discovery in order to deliver a proposed solution. The Ecommerce Consultant will be responsible for leading prospects through Sales Discovery by facilitating the identification and documentation of scope requirements."
      I wonder if they train their consultants to use
      wordy sentences like that?

      If so, the brain is gonna get confused and won't buy.

      Best,
      Doctor E. Vile
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      • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        I wonder if they train their consultants to use
        wordy sentences like that?

        If so, the brain is gonna get confused and won't buy.

        Best,
        Doctor E. Vile
        Hope it's some millennial in HR who wrote that, not someone from their sales and marketing
        department.
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      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        I wonder if they train their consultants to use
        wordy sentences like that?

        If so, the brain is gonna get confused and won't buy.

        Best,
        Doctor E. Vile

        It's funny but french middle management in Canadian banks really do seem to speak like this. Even on their down time, it tends to seep into conversations.

        Dunno about the US, but in Quebec if you're Finance/Financial engineering/Administration/Business/etc major the practice is encouraged from the onset of university which is a shame because it leads to awful, awful, awful writing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by bizgrower View Post

      This is from Gorilla Group's (a large internet marketing agency) job description for an Ecommerce Consultant position (Wordy, but at least they are paying attention to qualifying.):

      "The Ecommerce Consultant will enable expert counseling to our prospective clients on ecommerce and platform best practices during the Sales Discovery in order to deliver a proposed solution. The Ecommerce Consultant will be responsible for leading prospects through Sales Discovery by facilitating the identification and documentation of scope requirements."
      This sounds like most elevator talks I read. Or most Mission Statements. Nothing any real human being would say to another human being.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    wow - you guys are awesome. Thank you for the kind words and advice.

    When I have some time later I'll come back and respond.
    Who would have thunk it - WF moral support.
    -- You guys made my day
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author sconer
      Nothing you posted would make anyone think you were a whiny twat no matter how you wrote it. They are all pretty serious things and you seem to be pretty strong for getting thru it. Good luck.
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