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The Art and Science of World Class Prospecting

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While working through a pool of leads, the experienced sales ear finds a few similar pointers about prospects who never intend to buy and are time wasters. While making calls back to back throughout the day, anything from a simple name to the fact that the prospect cannot speak English switches on the looky lo alarms in the head of a mature salesman.

This is a science and can be properly understood once one has hit the trenches of selling.

The ultimate tool to building a sales pipeline that yields qualified leads is – disqualification. If the lead has no money, disqualify. If he’s not part of your market – disqualify. If he seems to be overly attacky and questions the authenticity of your product more than a normal prospect would – disqualify. If he seems overly excited while dropping a bunch of “Ohhs and Ahhs” while you speak to him, the writer’s experience and that of many other sales man admit that this is a looky lo – disqualify.

Having said that – the best way to eliminate time waster is to use a concept called “ The Three Power Disqualifiers” as outlined in author Perry Marshall bestseller “ 80/20 Sales and Marketing”.


Do They Have Money ?

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If you are selling a high ticket product and a startup happens to enter your lead pool, chances are they definitely do not have the budget to buy your product. Always make it a point to make the price clear in your presentations, it does not have to be at the start of the call or meeting, but at the end of the presentation do not hesitate to plainly state your costs. This will help you eliminate wasted energy on non buyers.


Do They Have a Bleeding Neck?

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A bleeding neck is a dire sense of urgency, an immediate problem that can be solved by your offering. A good way to figure out if your prospect has bleeding neck is to plainly ask him.

“ John are you interested in opting for this service in the near future or possibly some time later”
This will give you a clear indicator of how hot your prospect is at the moment of your sales call.

You can arrange employee recognition and rewards for top-performers to encourage them and motivate others to follow in their wake.


Do They Have The Ability To Say Yes?

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If your target buyer is the CEO of the company, when you place a call to his office – you are likely going to have to pass through the gatekeeper like his secretary of a lower management employee. Say you do get a meeting, you need to understand who the chief stakeholders in this hierarchy of corporate name tags is.

The Straight Line Selling System

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In his book “Way of The Wolf” sales trainer and motivational speaker Jordan Belfort talks about the straight line selling formula, where it is the priority of the sales man to take the prospect from a certainity of Level 0 to Level 10 using the straight line prospecting system.


Always Ask Permission To Ask Any Questions

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As easy as this distinction is to execute, virtually all untrained salespeople ignore it, simply because they’re unaware off how negatively it will impact their ability to build rapport. The first 4 seconds is when the reptilian side of the prospects brain makes a decision on whether or not to trust the caller. If you fall on the wrong side of this decision it takes about 4 minutes to get back rapport and in most cases you will not have this leisure. So to ensure that you fall on the right side of the prospect, you need to ask permission to create an atmosphere of qualification through your question. You can Easily do this with the following script;

  1. John, just a couple of questions, so I don’t waste your time
  2. John let me ask you just a couple of quick questions, so I can see exactly what you need.


Go From Less Invasive Questions To More Invasive Questions

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Imagine if you received a call from a life insurance agent, who begins the call by asking you about your social security details even before he has established any rapport with you, what’s more you don’t trust him, what are the chances you’d make a purchase from him. Visually zero, you’d agree. Moving from lesser invasive questions to more invasive questions, slowly nudges the prospect along the straight line of trust getting him closer to that magical mood of making a purchase decision.



After you’ve qualified the prospect and determined that he was a good fit for your product, you need to seamlessly transition into the sales presentation. You can do this by simply by asking the prospect for permission again. You can say something like;

1 – John, if you’d give me a minute of your time – I’d like to run the features of the Laptop with you so you can determine if this a good fit for your needs or not.


By strategically moving from lesser invasive questions to more invasive one’s you can disqualify the leads who don’t fit your target audience while winning the trust of Hot and Lukewarm leads.