When it comes to generating sales leads, we all know just how difficult finding the ideal customer with high value prospects is. They're not just waiting around the corner. You have to get out there and find them.
And how will you know how to do that? Don't just waste your time shooting darts in the dark.
Here's what you can do:
1. Set A Target
First and foremost, know who is buying your product. Your target market should be as succinct as possible, so that you don't cast your net too wide and are wasting everybody's time. A more focused approach is always better, at first. If you find yourself not generating any leads, target a smaller or more specific audience. They need to be a good fit and match the ideal customer's profile.
2. Gauge and Engage
As important as people skills and holding a conversation is in sales, it's imperative to gauge someone's interest. How to know if this person or business is even interested? Do they want to know more about your product services? Are they asking the right questions? Asking for prices? If yes, then they're probably interested.
3. They've Invested Time
A good lead is one that isn't afraid to invest their most valuable resource finding out more about what you're selling, time. However, there are those type of customers that take months on end to finally come to a decision. If you're looking to close a deal within the week, then you may want to look elsewhere.
4. Assess Need
This is by far the most important step on how to qualify someone as a good lead, and also where your interpersonal skills come in. Ask the right questions and you'll understand whether or not this customer will greatly benefit from your product or service, which gives you an entry to sell.
This will require some research on your part. Asking questions about the current challenges they're facing will open up a gateway for you to thwart those challenges and turn them into opportunities. Another way to assess their need, is finding out what they're currently spending and who they're spending on. Knowing who your competition is gives you an edge to find out their weak points and your strong ones, which may give you an insight as to what's making the customer unhappy, if at all.
So there you have it. Some salesmen have gut, others have a process. It's always better to have a method in case your gut feeling fails you. Rely on really knowing the market you're selling to and ideally, all about the decision maker of where you're selling to catch an early good feeling, or bad - depending on what kind of day you're having!