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Category: Inside Sales Best Practices

Definition of a Qualified Prospect and the Curse of the “Slow No”

We’ve all heard of the “Curse of the Slow No,” or the “Slow No Death Spiral”—sales reps wasting time pursuing prospects that they ultimately never had a chance of closing.

Anyone who’s spent any time in sales has likely had a phone call that went something like this: “Oh, well, it looks like the CFO already sent a check to Vendor X, so, um . . . sorry?”

The problem inexperienced reps often have is that they got dumped long before the so-called “final decision”—they just didn’t recognize it.

Which got me thinking, “What is the real definition of a qualified prospect?”

A traditional definition might resemble something like, “A qualified prospect is someone who meets the minimum criteria for buying a product or service, and has expressed a minimum level of interest to do so.” Hardly earth-shattering, right?

But try this trick and see what happens: add the words “from us” to the end of the definition—”A qualified prospect is someone who meets the minimum criteria for buying a product or service, and has expressed a minimum level of interest to buy from us.”

The idea is that on the surface, a potential buyer may meet all of the boiler-plate . . . .

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