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A sales rep that doesn’t
qualify as a vital part of the sales process will waste valuable time chasing prospects who cannot or will not buy.
“A qualified buyer to me
is a prospect who: fits our target market is the decision-maker has the budget to pay for our products/services has an urgency about making a purchase has specific needs we can meet agrees with our terms and conditions.” Good response
You do not want to
hear: “I would introduce myself and say something about our products or company…”
What you really want are
the actual words they use on a cold call. They should deliver them so that it does not sound scripted. Conduct a cold calling role-play. Listen for tone, confidence, value statements and positioning statements – not product pitches or coercive lines to get past the Gatekeeper. Consider this
Be wary of “referral-heavy” sales
reps. They may avoid prospecting and only want “warm calls” via referrals. Consider this A good response is: “I set referral appointments with satisfied customers as one part of my new business development strategy.”
GOOD RESPONSE A good response
is a set of business- focused, issue-specific questions. Examples: How is <business issue> affecting your production? What solutions have not worked so far? What is the intended outcome for this initiative? Who else is participating with you in making this decision?
You’re looking for someone who
wants to position themself as a trusted business advisor. If their answer is simply “make a sale”, they very well may be overlooking critical financial, business and serviceability issues - reducing trust and affecting sales. (Answers will vary somewhat by industry.)
A good response will indicate
that they gather enough information to clearly determine next steps in the sales process - even if that means walking away. Consider this
It’s surprising how many salespeople
don’t have a set of good words to close a sale. Asking your candidate this question gives you a sense of their competency in the last step of the sales process, their conﬁdence level, experience, and communication skills.
A good response will be
simple and free from manipulation and focused on facilitating a smooth transition into the customer/vendor relationship. Example: “Let me show you how we do our paperwork.” Consider this
Listen carefully for: How much
coaching do they want (if any)? How involved do they want their Sales Manager to be in the sales process? (closing sales for them) What level of autonomy do they want? Consider this
Expect your candidate to provide
speciﬁc answers. Depending on your industry and process, a salesperson that is accustomed to receiving company-generated leads or having first appointments set for them may not fit your needs. Cold calling and networking
A good response contains details
for acquiring self-generated leads such as: • building lists • acquiring market research • writing cold call scripts Good response • methods for making first contact • nurturing low-urgency prospects • follow-up frequency
1. What is a qualified
buyer to you? 2. What words do you use on a cold call with a Gatekeeper? 3. At what point will you walk away from a sale? 4. What is your process for acquiring referrals? 5. What is the best way to present price to a buyer? 6. What are your 3 favorite questions to ask on a 1st appointment? 7. How do you define a successful 1st appointment with a prospect? 8. What words do you use to close a sale? 9. What would be your ideal relationship with your Sales Manager? 10. How do you acquire leads to fill your pipeline? recap