5 Qualifying Questions You Must Ask Every Time

Would you like a way to become instantly better at closing more sales over the phone? If so, then simply incorporate these “must know” questions into your first qualifying call and you will immediately have better results when you call back to close.

How can I be so certain knowing the answers to these 5 questions will make you a better closer? It’s because of the indisputable rule in sales: “You can’t close an unqualified lead.” And that’s exactly what 80% of your competition is doing.

I listen to hundreds of actual calls from my clients each month, and I hear it over and over again – sales reps struggling to present their products and services to prospects who are not qualified in fundamental ways. Here’s are the questions you can ask to avoid this and to qualify your prospects better:

1) “What role do you play in the decision process?” You’d be amazed by how many sales reps simply never ask this question and, instead, assume they are dealing with a decision maker. In fact, have you ever gotten to the end of your close and been told, “Well, I have to send this to corporate and see what they think…”

That’s because you never asked question #1.

2) “How does this decision process work? Walk me through it.” If you have a pipeline full of prospects who didn’t buy after your demo or presentation, then you probably didn’t ask this question either. And I’ll bet your closing rate is less than 2 out of 10…..

3) “How many times in the last couple of months did you present something like this to (the board, corporate, the owner) and what happened?” If you want to know what the likelihood of getting your product or service through the decision process they described to you and what the likelihood of them actually closing is, just ask this question. The answer they give you will be the same as the one you’re going to get back next week…

4) ” __________ based on what you’ve heard so far, how much of a fit do you think this is for what you’re looking to accomplish?” What, a trial close on the first call?! Absolutely! If you’re dealing with a real buyer for your product or service, there is no better question than that one to uncover what any potential objections might be waiting for you when you call back to close. AND, there is no better question to reveal how close you may be to getting the deal when you call back…

5) ” ___________, is there anything you can think of that might stand in the way of us doing business in the next few weeks if you like what you see?” This question is for Top 20% closers only and it’s the question that will move you into the Top 1%. Try it and start re-qualifying or start writing up your order for the next call…

3 Secrets to Reaching Your Financial Goals in 2013

Now that December is here, it is time for me to solidify my goals for 2013. As always, I balance and set goals in all areas to maximize my growth as a person and as a professional. I have goals for health that include a targeted lifetime eating plan; goals for my business that emphasize professional growth; goals for creative expression that include writing and photography; goals for relaxation that include Europe and a lot more NFL football games!

When it comes to setting and reaching these goals, I use a simple and proven 3 step process that virtually assures that I reach my goals. I’m going to lay it out here as it applies to a financial goal, but recognize that this method applies to the success of reaching ANY goal. Here’s what you do:

Secret #1: The first step is to be absolutely precise on the desired goal. While you may have heard this before, it’s still amazing that many people I work with don’t practice this. For example, I still ask people what their financial goal is and they tell me, “earn more money than I made last year.” If you earn $1.50 more in 2013, then you will have reached your goal, won’t you?

Instead, you need to know the exact amount. In determining that number, I always look at each month, factor in vacations, holidays, projects, etc., and then I add up each month and come up with an EXACT figure. And then I add 20% more!

Once I have that “stretch goal,” I break it down again per month and write each month’s specific dollar goal everywhere so I’m looking at it each day of every month. I post it on my desk, in my car, in the bathroom; I know exactly what I’m going to accomplish each and every day.

I also adjust it per my production for that day so it is a fluid and ever changing number. Sometimes the daily amount gets bigger as the week goes on, and sometimes it gets smaller (depending on my production each day). But the point is that it is specific and exact, and I’m always aware of what my daily, monthly and yearly, specific dollar amount goal is for each and every day.

If you haven’t done this yet (especially the “add 20%”), then do it before January 1, 2013. You’ll be amazed how much this will keep you motivated and into action. And you’ll be amazed by your increased production!

Secret #2: Get clear on where every dollar of your income is going to go. Ask yourself: “What am I going to do with all the money I’m going to earn this year?” How much are you going to save by the end of the year? How much debt are you going to pay off? Are you going to buy a new car? Pay for your kid’s education? How much do you have budgeted for vacation? How about taxes? How about retirement?

These are just some of the questions you need to get in the habit of asking yourself this month, and you need to be completely clear on exactly where each dollar is going and where you’re going to be financially by the end of 2013. Having this kind of clarity and purpose helps keep you focused and disciplined, and it has a magical effect on how the Universe helps you accomplish your specific financial goal.

Now I know that things come up, but when you have every dollar accounted for, you’ll be amazed at how you can earn extra money to handle the unexpected. That’s just how it works. But I have found that when I’m crystal clear on how much I’m going to earn and what I’m going to accomplish as a result of it, my focus is razor sharp and I remain motivated each and every day.

In addition, when you know why you’re working so hard and what for, you’re ready to put secret number three into effect:

Secret #3: Once you are clear on your exact financial goal and know what you are going to get as a result of it, you can now practice one of the most important parts of any goal accomplishment: acting as if you’ve already attained your goal. If you’ve ever read any book on the Law of Attraction, then you know all about the importance of accepting and believing on a subconscious level that you already have what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

The Law is simple: the Universe responds to what you feel and believe to be true. If you think you’re broke or that your territory is poor or that you can’t do something, then you’ll find evidence to support your belief and you’ll act (or not act!) accordingly. If you believe the opposite, then you’ll find a way to keep taking actions to accomplish what you believe is possible, and the Universe will provide you with the opportunities to confirm what you believe.

But the key is to believe it has already happened. By acting as if you are already the top producer at your company, or by going to sleep at night already feeling the feelings of having accomplished your goal, you’ll act like a magnet for the success you’ve already determined is yours.

By acting as if you’ve accomplished your goal, you’ll automatically and easily take the actions necessary to achieve them. Suddenly it will be “like you” to come in earlier, to make more calls, to qualify better, etc. I have found that acting as if is the most important thing I have ever done to catapult me into new earning levels and new conditions in my life.

And I have found that it ALWAYS works. Whether I believe I can or I can’t, I’m always right.

There are lots of ways to achieve the “being state” of acting, feeling and experiencing your success in advance, but my favorite is to write and read affirmations that are rich in feeling and emotion. There are many books out there that will teach you how to do that, and I recommend you invest in them today.

The bottom line is that when you follow these three secrets to successful goal attainment, you will become unstoppable. There will no longer be road blocks, and no outside element will ever permanently get in the way of your accomplishing any goal you’ll set. You see, there is always a way to achieve anything you can dream of. And if you’re absolutely clear on what it is, know exactly why you’re going for it, and can feel and live as if you’ve already accomplished it, then nothing can stop you from attaining it.

I encourage you to use this month to put these secrets into your goal planning for 2013. If you do, then next year at this time you will be reaching for even more aggressive goals because you’ll have discovered the real secrets to performance in life.

All the best for 2013!