One of the preferred traits for a salesperson is the acumen to disqualify a lead or a prospect when either one is either not a good fit or the circumstances are not favourable for a successful transaction.
It takes knowledge and mental courage as salespeople, and managers and companies that hire them, to be able to say ‘no’ to a potential sale. Better salespersons know how to optimize their time and resources and drive to better results.
Never assume a customer does not have the money and the budget. A person with a torn shirt and messy shoes might actually have more money left to buy a high-end television set than the suit and tie guy (who is living off his maxed credit card). However, establishing budgetary needs upfront is important.
Does the contact person at the prospect not have the authority to sign a cheque and is not part of the approval hierarchy? Time well wasted.
Timing is important. Occasionally, taking ‘no’ for an answer allows a ‘yes’ to follow later. It is never a good idea to destroy any chance of a rapport with the customer.
Salespeople need to know their products well enough to do it justice. In the era of information availability and dissemination salespersons who do not know their products or service are at a disadvantage to the customer who has read up on it on the net. Beyond a certain level, the salesperson needs access to a ‘technical’ or ‘more in-depth’ consultant or technician or expert.
What is required is mental discipline as well as a real understanding of one’s capabilities.