Friday, March 20, 2009

The Art of DISqualification

How's your pipeline looking these days? Packed full? Just full enough? No matter how many active leads you have, you know they won't all buy - and that could make your pipeline a little less full than you thought. Sales trainer Skip Miller suggests you use disqualification to accurately see how many accounts you have waiting.

How to disqualify an active account:

1. What is the process of making a decision? Not who, but what. Why? Companies have a well-defined process for making a decision - it is rarely up to one person. If they can describe the decision-making process, they are more than just lookers. They have at least given it some thought.

2. What is the process for obtaining and committing budget? Again, if they can describe to you who is involved and why they would quantifiably cut the check, you may be on to something. It's not that they have a budget, that's easy, it's defining the process that's the disqualifier.

3. I-Date. What date are they going to start using what you are selling? Why couldn't it slip a month or two? What would happen if it did? Who would be affected with a slip...anybody? Everybody? The more people affected by a slip, the better chance you have. Don't focus on when they are going to sign, focus on when they are going into production with whatever you are selling.

4. Cash is king. What's the return on the investment they are making with you? How much risk or assumed risk are they thinking your solution is worth? Show them lower risk than they perceive and a quick return on their money.

Finally, the risk and the ROI numbers come from them, not from you. Ask them...they'll tell you. It's the maybe's that will kill you. Get rid of the maybe's early and shrink that pipeline down to a realistic amount. The deals are out there, just get rid of the smoke.

A recognized authority on the psychology of sales performance, Skip Miller has helped countless companies, already at the height of success in their respective fields, achieve an even greater level of sales productivity and success. Learn more at

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