Learn what being a member does for you
The Seller Styles
Learn the styles and take your free assessment
See a summary of all our programs and certifications
Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP®)
Develop your potential as a certified sales professional
Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL®)
Grow your impact as a certified sales leader
Learn foundational sales behaviors, strategies, and skills
Power of Contact Marketing
Learn from marketing expert and author Stu Heinecke
Join the top 1% of sales professionals in the world.
Next Level Virtual Coaching
Join our ongoing dynamic virtual coaching community
Explore job postings from some of the best companies in the country looking for sales professionals
Daily Dose of Influence!
Enjoy our video series of influence tips and strategies
Leads To Growth
Dig into our podcast featuring industry leaders and experts
Learn from our high-level sales coaching video series
Women of Sales & Influence – Facebook Live Series
Be inspired by our Facebook Live series spotlighting top women influencers
Women of Sales & Influence – Video Blog
Enjoy valuable, high-level sales strategies to empower your sales goals
The Growth Quotient
You’ve heard about IQ, but what is your GQ?
Our Commitment to You
We are here to help your approach to sales, how you interact with others, and how you perform and execute
NASP Sales Blog
Learn from our member-submitted articles for sales professionals
Write For Us
Share your sales expertise and insights with our community
About Our CEO
Standards of Conduct
Common Questions and Answers
We’ve all been there.
After countless calls, meetings and an endless amount of work, you just can’t get the customer to say “yes” and move forward. There can be hundreds of theories and ideas as to why this happens more times than we care to admit. Let’s put all the theories aside and get to a solution you can use right now to determine if the customer is serious.
The problem in these types of situations is as a salesperson, you’ve invested time and effort and the last thing you want to do is quit and walk away. You are thinking, “The prospect could be very close to saying ‘yes.'” It’s either your pride that doesn’t allow you to walk away or it’s the fear of having to report to your sales manager that the work you’ve done with a prospect is not going to materialize into any business.
After having worked with thousands of salespeople, I know the number one solution is to get the customer involved in the buying process. That’s right — get them involved. If they’re not willing to be involved, then they’re just using you either for information or because they are afraid to tell you “no.” You can get them involved by asking them to do something for you after you’ve left. If a customer is truly interested, they’ll do something for you. If they’re not interested, they won’t. It’s that simple.
Someone who is serious will do what you ask them to; someone who is not won’t. Their response to what you ask them to do will not only give you a sense of their level of commitment, but also may give them a quick “out” to indeed tell you they are not interested. Either way, it allows you to move forward. Either they are a serious prospect or it’s time to drop them and move on.
Another great tool to measure the seriousness of a prospect is to ask them to share with you some proprietary information. It might be a question you ask regarding the strategic focus of their business or how their volumes are for this month. It can be almost anything, but when you ask them a question that requires them to reveal something that is not known outside the company, you will quickly determine if the customer has confidence in you. Since confidence is what customers are really buying, then a key to knowing if a sale is going to occur is if they will share with you something of proprietary nature.
Keep in mind that neither of these two techniques is 100% foolproof in determining if a customer is serious. However, in using this approach across numerous industries and thousands of salespeople, I’ve found it to be the most time efficient method to separate prospects from suspects. In the end, the only sales you’re going to close are going to be with prospects who show interest in what you’re providing and confidence in how you’re providing it.
About the author
Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, is a consultative selling expert committed to helping individuals and companies identify better prospects, close more sales, and profitably build more long-term customer relationships. He is also author of “High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.”