Is there such a thing as good and bad customers? Yes there is. Being in business it is tempting to think that any customer is a good customer but this is not the case. You need to make sure you are getting the right potential customers who will most closely match your target market and as such add value to your business.
The following 5 techniques will help you distinguish good potential customers from bad;
- 1. Define your target market precisely. Break your market down by demographics, geography, industry, company size, budget or other relevant criteria. This will let you focus on the potential customers that closely match your target.
- Assess need, budget and buying authority. Ask basic qualifying questions that will help you determine whether a potential customers is ready, willing and able to :
- # What’s your time frame for this project?
- # Who else will be involved in making the decision?
- # What’s your budget for this type of product?
- # How will you make your decision?
- # Are you ready to buy if you find the right product?
- # If you determine that our service meets your needs, what will your next step be?
- Go for “no.”Conventional sales wisdom says that as long as a prospective customer hasn’t said no, then the sale is still alive. But when it comes to rating them, you should push for a decision even if it’s no. Better to learn sooner rather than later that the odds of closing a sale are slim.
- Evaluate financial or business status. Creditworthy potential customers are preferable to high-risk customers and stable prospects are better than those in crisis or flux. A company that is merging, downsizing or shifting its core business may be inclined to put off buying decisions.
- Develop a grading system. Rate potential customers as hot, warm, lukewarm or cold or use a letter grade (A, B, C, D) based on the probability of closing a sale.
Concentrate on hot potential customers, and upgrade or downgrade the others as their circumstances change. Getting information directly from potential customers is still the best way to qualify them. Potential customers will talk to you if you ask the right questions.
But that takes time, and time is money. You’ll want to find ways to question many potential customers at the same time.
Most customers like to be involved in the sales process from the beginning, and answering questions about their needs and preferences makes them feel like they are a part of the process.
Give us a call today to find out how we can help you sort the good from the bad.
Have a great day!