What make a would-be buyer worth pursuing? How do you know where to direct your energies to find the right buyer prospect? Imagine running an ad for the “perfect prospect.” How would you describe that coveted person? Acclaimed sales training pro Brian Tracy says, “A good prospect has definite characteristics.” He share his strategies in his new book, Unlimited Sales Success: 12 Simple Steps for Selling More Than You Ever Thought Possible (AMACOM, $22.95). Here are his six characteristics of a good prospect for your small business:
1. A good prospect is someone who has a problem your product can solve efficiently and cost-effectively. What problem does your product or service solve? Of those problems, which is the most pressing and valuable? Once you have a clear answer, search the marketplace for customers likely to have this exact problem.
2. A good prospect has a goal your product can help to achieve. “The primary buying motivation for all products and services is improvement,” notes Tracy. When someone has a desire to improve a specific aspect of life or work, and your product or service can help, that someone can be a very good prospect.”
3. A good prospect has the power to make the buying decision. It doesn’t matter if a prospect has a problem your product can fix, a need your product can satisfy, or a goal your product can fulfill. If that prospect lacks the authority to make a buying decision, then, as Tracy states, “the sales process comes to a halt.”
4. A good prospect is someone who likes you and your company, as well as your product.“People are primarily emotional in their decision making,” observes Tracy, “and almost all emotions revolve around how one person feels about the other.” When a prospect continually argues, complains, and criticizes, deliberately overextend yourself to be polite. “You will always feel happier and more buoyant when you walk away,” says Tracy.
5. A good prospect is a center of influence; someone who can open doors for you to other prospects. Bending over backwards to acquire a VIP can pay off big. “One satisfied customer who is well known and respected can create opportunities for you to sell more of your products and services at full price,” Tracy says.
6. A good prospect is easy to sell and to service. You don’t have to fly across the country to find the perfect prospect. Delivering satisfaction and building a relationship is much easier when the customer is located nearby. “Sometimes there is an enormous amount of business within walking distance of your own offices.”