Want to increase sales? Learn to filter the good ground. Good ground prospects do not all yield the same result or carry the same potential. As Jesus said, some have a 30-fold potential, some 60-fold potential and some have a 100-fold potential. Knowing how to identify and attract good ground prospects and even segment them by their potential can drastically alter your results.
To begin with, you need to identify a profile of what a “good ground” prospect looks like. Three filters you should consider using are…
1. Increase sales by determining the ideal set of natural circumstances.
These are easy to determine. For example, a client of mine, serviced power transformers at large industrial plants across the country. They had always operated their business with the idea that any company with a transformer was a good prospect. Unfortunately, it turned out upon closer evaluation when I was analyzing their numbers, they were actually losing money on every customer that only had a small number of transformers.
We identified a sweet spot where it really made sense for them to pursue new clients. We modified pricing for the smaller users to make them profitable and focused efforts on companies with a minimum of 8 transformers. With that change of philosophy, they were able to reduce their sales force by one third, provide better service to their target “good ground” customers, actually increase sales to their target while enjoying a $2 million increase in profit in the next twelve months.
So what are your markers circumstantially that make for a “good ground” prospect? If you’re a realtor, an obvious marker is relocation, but there are several others you can list as markers for a “good ground” prospect.
2. Increase sales by determining the right mindset
This requires you to ask questions and learn about your prospect. Someone may have all the circumstantial markers that identify them as a good prospect, but they don’t see themselves as being a good prospect. They may have just been promoted to the new office two hours from where they are now renting a one bedroom apartment, and about to have their third child but if the grandparents live next door or other factors are in play, their mindset can easily override their circumstantial markers.
If their mindset is irrational or disproportionate you can help them see the light by leading them through a series of questions where they discover the impracticality of their current mindset. Maybe they are plugged into the local community and simply don’t want to leave it. Your job is to uncover their mindset.
I would review their circumstances with them, contrast those with the circumstances they could have based on what I have learned about them so far and simply ask them how they would feel about being in the new circumstance. Maybe something like this, “Ted, as I understand your situation now, you’re commuting 90 minutes to and from work each day and living in a nice but increasingly crowded one bedroom apartment with another baby on the way. If you could live within 10 or 15 minutes of your work, own your own 3 bedroom home where you could have the time you are now spending commuting, playing in the back yard with your kids and creating a life worth treasuring and that your whole family would cherish for the rest of their lives, would you want to? Assuming we could find the house you and Julie would love to call “home” that also fits into your budget, are there any factors we haven’t discussed that may weigh in favor of you guys staying here?”
Not only does it not hurt to raise potential negatives, but it also helps you increase sales, because you have to be able to answer and offset those reasons if they are going to move forward. An example of a good reason not to move forward may be that Ted was just put on probation or the plant he now works at, is laying off a lot of workers. Maybe a family member is very ill and the best hospital is a mile from where they currently live. There are endless possibilities that can affect their mindset about a decision in favor of your offer. It will serve you well to determine the ideal mindset for a “good ground” prospect and vet that out with them.
3. Increase sales by determining their financial ability
When it comes to the price of your product or the size investment you are asking a prospect to make, it is important to know if your prospect has the financial means to proceed. When a prospect says your price is too high, the normal reaction from someone in sales (after they inwardly cringe) is to find a way to lower the price. But what does it mean when someone says your price is too high?
- It could mean, they can’t afford it: That however may not be true, not because they are lying but because they haven’t thought it through. If your product or service works out to the equivalent of one meal out per week, that may seem more reasonable. And if that same product can bring them a return of many times that, than it may cost them more to not act on your offer than to purchase.
- It could mean, they can afford it but don’t see the value: If they don’t have the need, want or desire for your product then the value is truly not there for them and you should move on. Value is like beauty… It is in the eye of the beholder. However, if they don’t see the value, you have most likely not uncovered their need and brought it to the surface to examine the implications and impact of their need. We cover this process extensively in the Moses Questioning Strategy.
- It could also mean, they can afford it and see the value but want to test your price. People never negotiate on something they don’t want, so if they begin to negotiate, it’s a very good sign. There are great strategies for negotiating price that help the prospect get maximum value while leaving room for you to make the necessary profit from every sale. I will delve into that in future blogs or you can just get The Negotiating Secrets of The Apostle Paul if you want an in-depth negotiating strategy that allows all parties to win.
Because this is a blog format, I have to keep this short. There is clearly a lot more to discuss about this and I will be doing that in the MPI Christian Business Institute where my goal is to work more closely with you and help you work more effectively, increase sales and honor the Lord in the process. Be watching for an email Friday with more details.
In the meantime, Be fruitful and multiply!