Ever get the feeling that the work you do (quotes, proposals, presentations, etc.) is a giant lesson in futility and a big waste of time? You think to yourself, “Why am I doing this, we aren’t going to get this business anyway?” This would be one of those times when you should trust your gut.
The $64,000 questions is, Why quote if they’re not qualified?
There are lots of answers to that question:
- If I don’t quote how am I going to get the business?
- Well, they asked for a quote
- I need to have deals in my pipeline or my boss will ask what I am doing with my time
- Our product/service is so cool; I love it & they will love it too
- It’s a numbers game (Quote & Hope)
- It’s easy to quote
- My competitor is quoting
- It’s so tempting
Which one of these do you relate to the most? It’s common. One of the most common problems that salespeople in most all industries face: Quoting opportunities that aren’t qualified. We call it The Dump.
The info Dump. The feature Dump. The benefit Dump. The price Dump. Salespeople are masters of The Dump. Salespeople get their needs met when they Dump. It feels good to know things. It feels good to tell people what we know. It’s so tempting. Doesn’t mean it’s right!
If you are honest with yourself you know that it’s all about information. Information that you gather. Information that your prospect or customer shares with you. You know when you have a “good chance” at winning the business – & it’s always based on the information you have. This information helps you understand if an opportunity is qualified or not.
Qualified for what? The qualifiers:
- What is the compelling problem you are there to fix?
- Have they shared budget or target pricing with you (the money conversation)?
- Are you speaking to the decision maker(s) & do you know how they make decisions?
Answers to all three make an opportunity qualified. Take a look at the last five deals you didn’t close. I guarantee that in all five cases you did not have an answer to all three of these qualifiers. You quoted & hoped. You Dumped info & Chased them for a decision.
Newsflash: Quoting & Hoping (or Dumping & Chasing) is not a strategy for successful selling. It’s brutal.
It’s time to get serious about selling. Time to do the work. Asking the qualifying questions is hard, it takes a discipline & it takes work. This is no place to take short-cuts. Look at your closing ratio. Are you batting 1 or 2 for 10? If you aren’t happy with your closing ratio it’s time to get to work.
Or, stick to the Quote & Hope strategy & never hit your numbers.