How To Start & Grow Your Business

5 Questions That Will Improve Your Process of Qualifying Leads

From the Editor's Desk
Apr 21st, 2016
  • Estimated reading time: 3 min read
  • Hummy's

    1You must establish who the decision maker is. 2Find out if they're satisfied currently. 3Know when to let go.
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Sales Management

Staff Working in Busy Architect's Office Photo Credit: monkeybusiness

It is often difficult to qualify a lead because there are so many variables involved. However, if you strip everything down to the bare essentials, then five crucial elements emerge that will help you identify the most promising leads.

By using these five questions, you can also more easily recognize which leads should be immediately discarded. Since your time is precious, it makes sense to separate the wheat from the chaff so that you may better concentrate your energy on pursuing your highest quality leads.

Here are the five questions that will help you qualify your leads more effectively:

1. Is this person the decision maker?

Whether you are speaking to a residence or a business, you need to contact the person who makes the decisions. This one question will either eliminate or adjust a substantial portion of all of your raw leads. If you don’t ask this question right at the beginning of the conversation, then you could end up wasting a lot of time and effort.

2. Are they already using something?

This question is highly important because it will allow you to present your pitch using a strategy that either focuses on customers that already have a solution or customers that still need a solution. You need to find out if you have to worry about issues with a competitor or if you have a clean slate. Both approaches usually require slightly different strategies, and you need to know which one to use.

3. Are they satisfied?

This question is valid for every situation. You can ask if they are satisfied, whether it is with your competitor’s solution or with no solution at all. If they are already using your product, you should still ask if they are satisfied because you might be able to sell them an upgrade.

4. Can they change?

This question only applies to customers who are using your competitor’s product. Oftentimes, a potential customer cannot change because of a contract or a budget issue. However, if they are interested, then you should place this lead in your follow-up folder so that you can check in on them from time to time to see if their situation has changed.

5. Is your solution really the best option?

This question is different from the other four because it is something that you must ask yourself. If your product or service really is the best option available for your potential customer, then you have a very real and genuine opportunity to make a high quality sale that will result in a win-win scenario for everyone involved.

However, this last step requires genuine honesty about the actual reality of the situation. If a competitor’s solution is really better, then you should be willing to admit that they already have the best option available and then move on.

However, if your solution and a competitor’s solution are both of equal value, then find a way to sweeten the deal so that your product or service becomes the superior choice. It is these types of actions that will get you more referrals after the deal is done. This is because people are often attracted to salespeople who genuinely desire to be both fair and honest.

In today’s world of instant information exchange, being honest is now not only a good personality trait to have, it is an absolute necessity.

About the Author

From the Editor's Desk

This article was written by a bizHUMM Staff Writer. We aim to provide practical tips that help solve your burning small business questions. If you have any suggestions or ideas for articles, please email them to: