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Questions I Always Ask When Qualifying a Prospect

As a salesperson, you’re going to talk to tons of potential buyers. But before you get overwhelmed just thinking about it, remember this: not every single lead is going to be right for your product or service. And that’s okay! In order to weed out the ones that aren’t, you’ve got to have a qualification process, ya’ll.

Establishing whether or not a prospect is a good fit for your services begins with a conversation. Asking the right questions not only displays your expertise and uncovers the necessary information to nail the sale, it involves your prospect in the process and shows them that you care about their needs and goals.

To get you started, I compiled a list of questions that I use frequently in my sales conversations to help me decide whether or not I’m barking up the wrong tree:

1. What are the non-financial ramifications that your company has experienced due to your issue not being resolved?

This question does a few things. It allows you to have a look into the prospect’s current issues, as well as their sense of urgency in solving them. It helps you see the ramifications of the problem at hand, so you can help them to find a solution. And it forces them to look at these things themselves! It’s possible that by answering this question out loud to you, they’ll realize that they need your services more than they’d realized.

2. If all things were possible, what would your business look like 6 months from now?

This is a great way to give your potential buyer room to elaborate on their goals. By listening to their answer, you can offer all the ways you’ll be able to assist them in making these goals a reality—or you’ll know right away that they might not be the right fit for what you have to offer. 

3. Why hasn’t this problem been solved up until this point?

Once you figure out your prospect’s business pains, ask them why they’re not being solved. Are there other priorities taking precedent? Are they struggling to find the right solution? Asking this question allows you to understand how important and pressing your solution might be—or what objections stand in your way.

4. What are you hoping to gain from this conversation?

This question gives your prospect the chance to (hopefully!) be straight forward about where they think the conversation is going. Do they just want information about your products or services, or do they know that they need your solution? Are they hoping to buy from you immediately, or would they like to schedule a second call or appointment? Ask, and you’ll save yourself time and guessing!

5. When are you looking to make a decision?

This question can save you and your prospect lots of time as well! If there’s a firm date that they must make a decision by, you now have the opportunity to work backwards from that and determine a closing date.

Qualifying leads is a balancing act between spending your time building rapport with your clientele, but not wasting your or their time if they’re just not a right fit for the sale! But don’t worry! Asking these questions will have you heading in the right direction with every conversation.