The client qualification sequence

Whether leads are from new or existing clients, guerrillas use the following three-step sequence to qualify potential projects and pinpoint serious buyers:

1. Prequalification: Make sure it's a good prospect before investing your resources.

2. Discovery: Get the full story on the client and the project.

3. Decision: Add all the facts together and decide whether to write a proposal.

Too many consultants don't evaluate client opportunities with a thorough approach and are unpleasantly surprised later by under-budgeted proposals and poorly defined project objectives and scope. Following the three-step sequence described in this chapter prevents surprises and reduces the risk of chasing losing propositions. The better you qualify leads, the lower your cost of sales will be. Plus, you can pull the ripcord—bail out—at any point without damage to your reputation because you haven't made a commitment.

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