Do You Use Qualifying Questions Appropriately?
Do you have pre-set qualifying questions for your business? I don’t, but that changes today. I was privileged to be able to participate in a training last night with a mentor who has built several multi-million-dollar companies and has been a top recruiter in four or five network marketing companies. He also coaches entrepreneurs and business owners on mindset and marketing. The guy makes millions every year and helps thousands of people get on their own paths to riches. He knows what he’s talking about.
One practices he credits for his success is his consistent use of qualifying questions. Not everyone can work with him. He only works with those who are motivated, who have basic skills and knowledge, and can afford to invest the initial amounts necessary to achieve the highest levels of success in their chosen area. He learned long ago that he just can’t help everyone, but if you are qualified to work with him, he can help you do amazing things.
The first of his qualifying questions is “What are your goals that this business would help you achieve?” He then listens and probes for detail. If they don’t have a goal, or if their goals are vague or unrealistic, he gives them homework. “Go home and do some research,” he tells them. “Come back to me when you have a clear vision with real numbers and a real understanding of where you want to be in the world and how long you believe it will take. Then we can talk about your next step.” He isn’t mean about it, but after 30+ years in business, he has determined that those who start a new venture without a solid destination in mind have a too-high failure or quit rate. In his experience, only about 10% ever get back in touch with him. But those 10% have passed the first test. They are willing to do what is asked of them and they often go on to be very successful.
The second qualifying question is “What is missing in your skills or knowledge that is preventing you from reaching your goals right now?” As they tell him what they think they need or want to learn, he is making note of what skills he teaches his team and what training resources he knows about that he can plug this prospect into. If the pieces they are missing are already part of his training programs, then they have passed the second test. They have a base foundation on which he can build. If they are lacking skills that he knows they need but he doesn’t necessarily teach it, he refers them to training programs and asks that they buy or enroll in those programs before joining him (note: he is an affiliate for every program he recommends, so he is setting himself up for income even if they don’t join his program). He listens for resistance. He only wants to work with people who will follow through, who are coachable, and who are willing to do the work.
The third and final of his qualifying questions is the clincher: “If I told you that you need X dollars to get started and to really get on the path to your goals, on what day can you commit to me that you’ll be able to start?” His X dollars includes his program’s enrollment fees for his program’s highest level, monthly maintenance fees and the amount that he has determined is a minimum marketing budget for 3 months. He wants everyone he works with to be able to invest for 90 days. The date they give him is critical. If they say “I don’t know,” his response is “You’re not ready to be in this business until you have that kind of money available.” He is completely honest and upfront with them about what expenses are actually involved in running a business. He gives them ideas of ways to raise money. If they respond with “two weeks,” he says “Great. Let’s set a phone appointment for that day and we’ll get started.” If they have the money available right then and there on a debit or credit card, he enrolls them on the spot.
I love the progression of these qualifying questions. He is never selling during his conversations with prospects. He is learning about them and guiding them to become self-aware of their own qualifications to really step into the next level. He is making sure they can really succeed and that they aren’t just “wishing” they could succeed. Big difference.
These types of qualifying questions can be used in so many situations. If you are a coach, a personal trainer, a membership builder, or you are trying to build any sort of direct sales or MLM team, I highly suggest you take some time today and develop your qualifying questions.
If you already have your qualifying questions in place, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Here’s to your success,