Commercially smart business owners understand the concept of leverage and the 80/20 rule.  Concentrating 20% of their effort to give them 80% of their results.

In sales this translates to 20% of their prospecting efforts will produce 80% of their qualified leads.  And 80/20 is fractal which means that 4% of their effort will lead to 64% of their leads.

The question is how to rapidly get to this point.  You can’t do this by randomly prospecting.  Throwing a lot of dirt against a wall, hoping some of it will stick.

So step one is to be very clear on exactly who is in your target market.  Be as narrow as possible.  For example a financial planner could target middle aged, recently divorced women who need to manage their financial settlement.

Know exactly what makes you unique if their eyes.  What do you bring to the table that your competitors don’t.

Do they have the money to pay for your advice?  Do they need it right now and will they take it?

Now write a marketing message which speaks to this audience.  The issues they’re facing and the aspirations they desire.

Place these where your market is likely to see them and contact you.

Once a prospect expresses interest, don’t immediately jump into a sales conversation.

A lead is just that.  A lead.  You have no idea if they’re going to be a suitable client.  So your first step is to have them qualify themselves in or out.

Have a questionnaire which they fill in before speaking with you, allowing you to further qualify them quickly.

Then only speak with the small percentage who meet your criteria and are likely to be good clients.

A long term client of ours in the financial planning space has this down to a fine art.

They are very well positioned at the top of their field and are only looking for clients with significant investments to manage.

Potential clients who contact them are first screened by front line staff.  Then are asked to fill in a comprehensive questionnaire.  If they’re deemed suitable, they’re invited in for a consultation which is charged for.

During the consultation on a very few occasions it may transpire that our client can’t provide enough ongoing value to justify their fees.  However, the prospect still gets significant advice as to how to start getting themselves into a position where they could benefit from ongoing specialist advice.

The net result is the principal financial planners only spend time with qualified prospects.  This is 80/20 in action.

And of course, the prospects are kept in touch with so when their circumstances change, they will come back as well as refer their circle.

Wrapping up, ask these five questions.

  1. Do they have the money to pay you?
  2. Do they have a pressing need? A sense of urgency, an immediate issue that must be solved, right now.
  3. Will they buy into your unique selling proposition? Can you answer the question in their minds of what your product or service does that nobody else’s does?  What guarantee can you make that sets you apart?
  4. Do they have the ability to say YES? e. Are they the ultimate decision maker.
  5. Is what you’re offering fit in with their overall plans? Start by selling smaller components which are easy to buy and implement.  Going in an trying to change the way the whole organisation works is a fool’s errand.

The better you get at pre-qualification, the more efficient you will be and the faster you will grow your business.

If you’d like our help in putting together a marketing and sales system which attracts the right prospects and improves your conversion rate, give me a call.

Our “Effortless Selling” program will do just this.

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