How to Qualify Inbound Leads

New marketing funnels and lead nurturing campaigns have created what has always been a salesperson’s dream: more inbound leads. Sales reps love receiving these leads and tell me all the time that these “warm” leads must be better because they called in requesting information.

“These leads are more qualified because they are calling in,” I hear over and over. But we all know this isn’t necessarily true is it? In fact this attitude leads to one of the biggest mistake 80% of your competition is making when they receive warm leads — they go into pitch mode rather than qualification mode.

Eighty percent of your competition mistake the “implied interest” of an inbound lead to mean they are already qualified, and all they need to do is explain their product or service. Wrong!

Top reps, on the other hand, know that inbound leads can be some of the biggest time wasters of all, so they do what they always do — disqualify out people who are “just looking” so that they can identify and spend time with the real buyers.

And they do this by asking questions instead of pitching.

Here are some great questions to ask the next time you get an inbound lead:

How to ask for the buying motive:
“Thank you for contacting us today, what was it about our ad/promotion/website that motivated you to call us today?”

How to determine a shopper:
“Who else are you looking into?”

How to determine how close or far away you are from a potential deal:
“What do you like best so far?”

How to determine further motivation:
“How long have you been thinking about (buying, investing, changing) something like this?” Then,

How to determine the possible objections:
“What has kept you from acting on this?

How to determine time frame:
“When are you looking to make a decision on this?”
You see how this goes. Just remember, to be a Top 20% producer, you have to begin finding buyers — whatever the lead source. So stop pitching your inbound leads and start qualifying! Remember, it’s still up to you to find and separate the buyers from the non-buyers.

The “Turkey Shoot” Motivation Technique

I’d like to thank all those readers who commented on the eZine article: “Using Bingo to Increase Sales.” I’m glad you found it useful, and I especially like how many of you sent in ideas and techniques of your own that you’ve used to motivate your sales team. One of our readers, Yvonne, sent in this technique called the “Turkey Shoot.” I think you’ll enjoy it:

“Mike, this reminds me of another way that we used to ‘get the job done.’ Perhaps you’ve heard of it, too.

We had a ‘Turkey Shoot’ so to speak: Across the top were number of days of the month (this was thought up during Thanksgiving season, hence the name). Down the side were listed all the items that you could do that would be considered “prospecting.” This actually was done per office, so some had a few items that another office might not. Be that as it may, handing out x# business cards, making 10 cold calls, sending __# mailers out, showing a property, writing a contract, and of course, the Biggie, getting paid!. Each item was given so many points (business cards 1 pt each, mailers 1 pt each, cold calls 5 pts, showing 10 pts, contract 20 pts, paid 25).

Each day, each person entered what he did for that day, and the squares would get filled in. Some agents did more than others, of course. However, even those who didn’t do much had done something, and they were inspired to do more when they saw the results of their fellow

The interesting thing is that it didn’t matter whether you were ‘an old hand’ at prospecting or brand new, as long as all the activities were done, there would be lots of winners. It seems like that would be a ‘duh!’ However, Thanksgiving and Christmas were always very difficult to get through, even for seasoned agents. So, when they came up with this ‘accountability’ grid, everyone profited. I’ve even used it around the house, whether for housekeeping, or for keeping the kids happy. There were always categories that would fit whatever the goal was, and the
results would always be the same: feeling good about accomplishing something that might have been a little ‘drab’ otherwise.

Thanks again.”

What I really like about this technique is that it can be adapted to any sales initiative you’re having, and it can be used to motivate just about any kind of behavior (I love that she used this at home with the chores). This just shows you how important having goals can be and how hard people will work for recognition.

If you’ve enjoyed this article and have a game, contest or way of motivating your team that you’d like to share with me, please do me a favor and email at: The more we can learn from each other, the more successful we all will be!