The Power of Selling
Chapter 7
Prospecting and Qualifying: The Power to Identify
Your Customers
Video Ride-Along
The video Prospecting features Lisa Peskin, Sales Trainer, Business
Development University
Lisa Peskin shares her tips for identifying new customers
According to her, cold calling is the least effective method for prospecting
Chapter Objectives
Explain the role of the seven steps of the selling process.
Understand the role prospecting plays in the selling process.
Identify resources to use when prospecting.
Understand how to identify prospective employers.
Figure 7.1 – Seven-Step Selling Process
Seven Steps of Selling Process
Prospecting: Identifying the potential buyers for a product or a service
Qualifying: Determining whether a lead has the desire and ability to buy
your product or service
Preapproach: Preparation and research a salesperson does before making
the sales call
Approach: First few minutes of a sales call, during which the salesperson
explains her purpose for coming and establishes a rapport
Seven Steps of Selling Process
Presentation: Part of the sales call when the salesperson offers a solution
for the prospect
Objections: Hesitations or concerns a prospect might have about the
product or purchasing process
Close/Closing: Agreeing on the terms of the sale and finalizing the
Follow-up: Salesperson assures customer satisfaction and maintains
customer relationships
Prospecting: A Vital Role in the Selling
The value of a lead
– Customers who give the “just looking” response are valuable leads
– If such customers are not followed up and qualified, their business goes to a
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Prospecting: A Vital Role in the Selling
Sales funnel: An illustration of the way the sales process begins with a
large pool of prospects and ends with a more focused number of buyers
Technological tools can help identifying, qualifying and prioritizing
– Examples: Collaborative communities and online resources
Figure 7.4 - Traditional Sales Funnel
Video: Understanding the Sales Funnel:
Is the Sales Funnel Dead?
Buy-cycle Funnel (Parts I and II) Mark Sellers
Prospecting: A Vital Role in the Selling
To decide which prospects you should invest your time in pursuing, create
a profile of your ideal buyer:
– What particular qualities and characteristics will define this individual or
– What specific problems would this buyer have that your product could solve?
– In what ways should the buyer be compatible with you or your organization?
Where to Find Prospects
Top ten power prospecting list:
– Existing customers
– Referrals
– Networking and social networking
– Business directories in print
– Online databases and directories
– Newspapers, trade publications, and business journals
Where to Find Prospects
– Trade shows and events
– Advertising and direct mail
– Cold calling
– Be a subject matter expert
Seth Godin Interview
The video How To Flip The Sales Funnel features Seth Godin, Best-Selling
Author, Entrepreneur, and an Agent of Change
Seth Godin talks about ‘flipping the funnel’ which means turning the
funnel to a megaphone and letting your best customers act as your
To view the video, click here
Organizing Your Prospect Information
Choosing a system
Gathering intelligence
Keep it up-to-date
Choosing a System
Customer relationship management (CRM): The process a company uses
to organize and track their current and potential customer information
– It allows you to maintain relationships in a systematic way, following up more
consistently with your leads and continuing to meet the needs of your existing
Choosing a System
Contact management system (CMS): A system for tracking and organizing
customer and prospect information that is less complex than CRM and
doesn’t necessarily keep a record of every customer contact
– It allows you to keep current contact and company information on your
prospects and to record detailed notes about your conversations with them
Keep It Up-To-Date
To avoid loosing (losing) your prospect to a competitor, keep your prospect
information current
Several online business directories provide customized alerts on company
news, turnover of key personnel, or merging and splitting off of companies
– Examples: RSS ( Really Simple Syndication) and Google news alerts
Qualifying Your Prospects
Five questions to help you meet your qualifying objectives:
– Does your prospect have a need?
– Does he or she have the authority to make the buying decision?
– Does he or she have the resources to purchase the product or service?
– Does he or she have the willingness to purchase the product?
– Do you have access to the influencer or decision makers?
Managing Your Prospect Base
Once you have qualified your prospect, the next step is making an action
– Action plan: A specific plan of approach for each customer
Begin your action plan by conducting a need analysis because your qualified
prospects will have different needs
Think about the next steps in the sales process
Develop a timeline and plot out the steps