Time is money, right? In the world of business it is important to know how to qualify trade show leads. Spending too much time with an unqualified prospect means losing money. But on the other hand, not spending enough time to figure out if a lead is genuine could also result in losing money.
Qualifiers for Trade Show Leads
The first thing you need to do before speaking with any potential leads is understand what qualifies them. Everyone part of the sales team should know what qualifies a lead. This will be different for every business, but there are key criteria everyone should be looking for.
- In the case of B2B, find out if this person is the decision maker. Someone in the business might be very interested in what you’re selling, but if they have no authority, you’ll be barking up the wrong tree. Things to look for will be head of departments, office managers, and obviously owners.
- In the case of B2C, depending on the scale of the purchase, keep in mind that some customers will want to consult with their significant other before making a purchase. Don’t waste your time by talking too much to the person in the relationship who doesn’t make the decisions. If you can, get them both together, or focus your attention on the one who makes big financial decisions.
If you have staff working commission for qualifying leads, be sure that they focus on the true goal of obtaining good solid trade show leads, not getting their commission checks.
Be sure to ask targeted questions. Of course you don’t want to bombard them with too many questions, but understanding their standard BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing) is very important. Do they have the budget for your trade show leads vs time wasters product or service? Are they authorized to make big decisions? Do they even need your business? What is their timeline of needs? Know the answers to these questions before spending too much time, money, and energy on the prospect. Some targeted questions to try are: “What do you like most about product X?” “If you could change one aspect about your current arrangement, what would it be?” “What are the most important issues for you?”.
Don’t waste your time and don’t waste their time!
Do they already have your product or service? Make sure you know if they are even able to switch. Be real! Is your product really better than what they already have? I’m not saying you have to be the best thing out there, but you have to be better than what they already have. Think of the saying, “You don’t have to run faster than the bear to get away. You just have to run faster than the guy next to you.”
Engage with them emotionally.
Tap into their mind and know what moves them. Of course you want to sell, but keep in mind that people can make emotional decisions. If your business is in a tie with another, you might just win over the other because of that gut feeling, or good relationship you created.