Often times, buyers don’t realize or think about the actual salesperson’s time. The buyer can unknowingly waste the salesperson’s time; not realizing they could be only commission based.
So how can you reduce the risk of your time being wasted?
In sales, the buyer is not the only one who should be making a decision. The salesperson has to decide how much time and energy he/she wants to dedicate towards a potential buyer. The salesperson should ask the following questions to ensure they are properly qualifying buyers.
Does the buyer have the Budget?
It is often challenging to ascertain the buyer’s budget.
If a buyer fails to give you any indication of his budget, a follow up question like this might help…
“Based on what we’ve discussed, the investment for the right solution could be in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. How does that fit within your budget?”
This question will often reveal some information about the budget. The buyer might say, “That’s way out of my league” or “that sounds about what I was thinking”. At that point you’ll have much better idea about whether your buyer meets the “budget” criteria.
Does the buyer have the Authority?
If you are investing your time with someone other than the decision maker, you run the risk of wasting time.
If you cannot get direct exposure and interaction with the decision maker, the salesperson should walk away. Not doing so, sets the salesperson up for investing a lot of time and energy, and not have much to show for it in the end.
Is the Revenue you’ll generate from the deal worth your time?
A good salesperson assesses the revenue potential of any given buyer early in the sales process and has to make a decision about whether it is worth pursuit.
What is the buyer’s Timeframe for making a decision?
How frustrating would it be for you to invest hours into a sale only to find out the buyer won’t be making a decision for 6 months? That’s what can happen if you fail to establish timing early in the sales process.
Does my Solution add value?
Never sell something to a buyer that doesn’t truly add value and/or solve a problem the buyer is having.
Determine early on if the products and services you offer are what the buyer needs to solve his problem or capitalize on his business opportunity. If it’s a good match, go for it. If not, better to maintain your reputation as a trusted advisor in the marketplace and refer a trusted vendor who sells what the buyer needs, than to sell something that doesn’t really add value.
In the end, if you have a sales opportunity that 1) has an appropriate budget, 2) the buyer has the authority to make the buying decision, 3) the revenue you’ll generate is worth your time and energy, 4) a decision will be made in a timely way, and 5) the solution you are offering adds value, what more could you want?
Invest the time and energy with your buyer wisely.