Cold call qualifying: Eliminate tire-kickers, the worthless and crazy with three steps.


Three simple steps to spend more time with those likely to buy. Less time with tire-kickers and low-volume purchasers.

Why you need to pull a “Columbo” on them.
The key qualifying question you need to ask before you say “bye.”

Transcript lightly edited.

[00:00:00] Hi, this is Scott Channell. And the topic of this two-minute tip is qualifying suspects and prospects so that you spend less time with those who won’t buy, or won’t buy enough, and more time with those who will buy, will buy a lot and will buy over and over again.

Many salespeople seem to think that qualifying means sitting a suspect under a bright light and making them answer 20 questions.

That approach is costing you opportunities, accounts, and revenue.

Let me outline to you a simple three-step approach to qualifying, that will increase your sales results, and decrease the time and resources you invest with tire kickers.

First and most importantly, communicate only with suspects that look like your best accounts and clients.

Spend 90 minutes doing some research. Profile them, prospect only among targets that look like your best accounts.

Don’t walk [00:01:00] into a certain death trap by saying, well, anybody could be my client. We have a lot of good accounts that don’t fit our good account profile. We don’t want to miss anybody. If you think that way, you are dooming yourself too low low sales productivity.

The issue is always allocating your time and resources where you will get the greatest return, nothing else.

Second, when you talk to a suspect up front, pull no punches and state clearly what you do, why you are credible and three powerful benefits desired by people who do business with you and exactly what you want.

If they agree to a next step with you, be it a phone appointment or a meeting, you do one other thing to qualify them. You pull a Columbo on them. Remember Columbo, that TV detective who would ask a penetrating, revealing question when he [00:02:00] was supposedly all done and had started to walk away? You finish by saying something like, Joan, to help me prepare, how many units of X do you use per year?

Or how many employees do you have? Or, Joan, one final question, our typical engagement runs between 25,000 and 100, 000 annually. Assuming you are totally satisfied, is that a reasonable range for you?

So look at what you’ve done to qualify. You’ve eliminated all the low probability and no probability suspects and spent all of your time calling only targets where you will get the greatest return on your prospecting investment. Doing this one thing well can double or triple your prospecting results.

Many times when I help clients with this, we discover that 50%, 60 percent or 70 percent of their prospecting list never should have been called in the first place.

And that there [00:03:00] are far more high probability targets to prospect than they have time or resources to reach.

Second, you clearly have communicated what you do in the benefits you deliver. People who don’t want them will say no.

And finally, third, you pulled a Columbo on them to further maximize the chance that your prospect is viable.

Remember, qualifying is about trying to maximize your overall return on prospecting.

Yours truly once put a salesperson on a plane to meet with a two-person company when we were looking for 1,000 plus employee companies. Crazy things will happen on the edges, but if you follow these three simple strategies, you’ll spend a lot more time with those likely to buy without chasing good prospects away with 20 questions.

Hope this tip was helpful. If you or your sales team would like help with your qualifying process, contact me to discuss products, [00:04:00] coaching, speaking, and training options. Now go out there and sell something.