How a Top Sales Person Qualifies a Prospect

In the process of selling, there are several steps that the sales person must take before he or she closes. The first step, of course, is qualifying through effective communication. You cannot sell a product until you have thoroughly qualified the prospect. Every one of us has been in a situation where we have walked into a store or onto a used car lot, and somebody comes up and says, “Why don’t you take it?” Or “Are you going to buy it today?” They try to close you without ever asking you what it is you want or what you need. They forget to qualify.

Four Questions Every Top Sales Person Must Answer for Qualifying

To qualify effectively, the sales person has to find the answers to four questions. Question number one; does the prospect need what you’re selling? Question number two, can the prospect use what you’re selling? Many people may need a piece of high tech equipment, but they may not be able to use it because of the people or the structure of the organization. Number three; can the person afford the product? And number four; does the person want the product? Through effective communication and learned listening skills you are four steps closer to closing the sale.

Listening Skills: Find Out What They Want

Before the sales person can close, the prospect has to have demonstrated that he or she has a desire to enjoy the benefits of your product or service. Once you’ve given your presentation, qualified the prospect in all four of these categories and determined that he/she wants to buy it, you’re in a position to begin closing. Much of the sale is made in the presentation. In some products, especially in real estate, the close is largely determined by how well you present the product to the prospect.

Closing The Sale Requires Effective Communication

The moment of closing is always difficult and requires excellent listening skills. There is always a moment of tension. There is always a feeling of stress on the part of the prospect. This is a form of buyer’s remorse, in advance. Whenever a prospect reaches a point where he has to make an important decision, whenever he has to spend money, tension wells up inside of him. He experiences the fear of failure.


Every one of us, as human beings, experiences this fear of failure. The tension in the closing moments of the sale is caused by the fear of making a mistake, the fear of buying the wrong thing, the fear of paying too much, the fear of being criticized by other people. What happens when a person feels this fear? It is very much like having a spear in the stomach. What do they do as a result? They back away.

Whenever he experiences this fear, he retreats. He says things like, “let me think it over,” or “can you leave me some material,” or “ could you call me back next week, I have to talk it over with someone else,

I have to check it out first, I can’t afford it,” and so on. These are all different ways that the prospect tells you that, “I don’t think if I make this decision it’ll be the right thing for me.”

The Fear of Rejection

The second major stumbling block at the close is the fear of rejection. It is the fear of the prospect saying

“no.’’ Each of us, deep down inside, has a fear of being told “no”, a fear of being rejected. Because of this fear, we very cleverly organize our lives in such a way that we don’t put ourselves in front of people that say “no.”

One of the key factors in successful selling is to be prepared to hear a no and continue. When the prospect says, “No I don’t think so,” you must be able to just let it roll off your back like water off a duck’s back.

Rejection Is Not Personal

You must realize that a no is not personal. It is not aimed at you as an individual. When a person says no to you, they’re not saying no to you in most cases, they’re saying no to your offering, for a series of reasons, most of which you can do nothing about. Your job is to face your fear, confront your fear, do the thing you fear, and ask for the order.

Expect Sales Resistance

Sales resistance is normal and natural in every sales conversation. At the moment of making a buying decision, this fear, this uneasiness, this tension starts to build up. Your job is to get through that moment of tension as quickly and as painlessly as possible through effective communication and great listening skills. That’s what good closing techniques are for. Just remember that closing techniques are not ways of manipulating other people. They are not techniques to get people to buy things they don’t want, don’t need, can’t use, and can’t afford. They are techniques to help get people past that moment of tension. The professional sales person takes the prospect smoothly past the point of closing, making it easy for the prospect to buy. The unprofessional salesperson sits there wishing and hoping, and at the end of the presentation, he says, “Well, what do you think?”

To be a great sales closer, you must be enthusiastic with exceptional listening skills. You must love your product. You must believe in your product. You must have confident expectations, and you must persist. Persistence is to the character of man and woman as carbon is to steel. If you will persist, if you will keep on keeping on, no matter how many times people tell you “No “ you must and will eventually succeed. No matter how many doors you knock on, no matter how many times you get turned down, if you will keep persisting and persisting and persisting, you will succeed, and you will become one of the great sales people of your generation.

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Topics included in this article include

Sales Person

Effective Communication

Listening Skills

About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

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