“Do know the only limited resource that we really face in business is actually time and resources and that’s why it’s so important to make sure that we apply our time and resources to where we most likely to get a successful result, not just for us as a seller and our own sales organization, but also for the customer.” – Tony Hughes in today’s Tip 76
What’s happened inside your organization to cause you to want to change the way you’re currently operating?
Join the conversation below and share your thoughts!
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today I’m excited to share a tip with you from Tony Hughes. Tony is an international keynote speaker, best selling author, leading professional selling educator, award-winning blogger and the most read LinkedIn Author globally on the topic of sales leadership. As an experienced CEO and company director with 35 years of sales and business leadership experience his is ranked by Top Sales Magazine as the most influential person in professional selling in Asia-Pacific. Here he is:
Tony Hughes: I’m Tony Hughes and I’d love to talk to you about the really important topic for anybody in business and sales of qualification. Do know the only limited resource that we really face in business is actually time and resources and that’s why it’s so important to make sure that we apply our time and resources to where we most likely to get a successful result, not just for us as a seller and our own sales organization, but also for the customer. So when you think about qualification, there’s a lot of frameworks out there that give us acronyms that help us really think about this process. The most common one has got four pieces to it and it’s called “BANT”. It’s an acronym that stands for “Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline”. And the basic concept is, does the person that I’m talking with, do they have a budget that they can spend? Do they have the authority to make the decision to actually make a buying decision and sign something? Is there a genuine need? And do they have a defined timeline? But here’s the reality with any qualification framework, and there’s lots, there’s others called mandate and nutcase all kinds of frameworks. But here’s the thing, clients don’t like salespeople trying to qualify them. So we need to really blend the process of qualification and discovery together. When we work with people and beyond those basic frameworks of qualification, in my opinion, there’s two really important things. The first is to what to degree will the person we’re speaking with give us accurate information. And then the second thing is to what degree would they give us access to key people inside their organization? Those stakeholders that really formed consensus for them making a decision. And the degree to which the customer will work with us in providing us with information and access to me is the thing that determines whether we should work with them. So every time you get a sales lead come to you, there’s a really important question that you should ask. You should ask the person what’s happened inside your organization that actually caused you to think you need to change the way that you’re currently doing things. And based on that information that they give you, you can start to engage and you can ask them who are the key people internally that are effected? What does your business case look like internally for being able to fund this and actually make it happen? So just remember when it comes to qualification, go beyond those basic frameworks. People don’t like qualified. Blend your qualification questions with discovery questions. Always do your homework so that you can show that you have some insight. Always turn up with a relevant point of view to earn access, but then really ask them questions about what’s happened in the organization. Get the information you need to identify, do they have a strong business case for change? And then you need access to the people in that organization that formed consensus for change. So that’s probably the really important thing with qualification. And if you open well, you’ll find the closing becomes a natural logical next step with people. And you take the stress and pressure out of selling. I’m Tony Hughes and you can find me at RSVPselling.com or on TonyHughes.com.au
Scott Ingram: Really solid stuff from Tony. Especially this idea that for every lead that comes in ask: “What’s happened inside your organization to cause you to want to change the way you’re currently operating?” What have you found to work best in your own qualifying efforts? Join the conversation at DailySales.Tips/76, on that page you’ll also find links to Tony’s blog, YouTube channel, podcast interviews and more.