With the economy in a seemingly perpetual wheel spin and consumer confidence at an all time low, it can be tempting to prequalify less and feel like you need to take whoever you can.  In fact the opposite is true. The desperation mindset lurks at our door when we start buying in to the scarcity mentality that the herd is chewing on.  

Going against the herd mentality is usually wise – especially in this case. First of all, if there are less prospects and clients and if the pie is getting smaller, plan to get a bigger piece of it.  The fact is business is happening and where there is attrition, there is also a current of opportunity moving in the opposite direction.  To move from desperation to abundance you must increase your at bats- in other words talk to more people so you can say no to more people.  

Depending on your product/service, an economy like this can reduce the number of qualified prospects especially if financing is needed to acquire what you are selling.  Because time is your most precious commodity, when you get an at bat, you need to maximize your time by asking a lot of key questions to determine their interest, motivation and ability of which all three are needed to move forward.  You need to get to know them first and clearly identify their need or pain.  Everyone you talk to has a problem, there are many solutions and if you can show them you are the best solution you will earn their business. 

Always do an upfront contract (gain their commitment to move forward at the presentation if all needs are met) and present only with all decision makers. 

We miss sales because we miss steps.  Make sure you are a master of prequalifying and that you are asking all of the key questions.  Guard your time. 

How solid is your prequal? 

How many questions do you ask? 

Do you write down the prospects response? 

When you lose a sale or get used by your prospect, do you review your prequel questions to see what you could have asked to avoid what happened to you?