November 5, 2021

10 Ways to Disqualify a Client

How do you disqualify (not qualify) a prospect? Because we know that the faster we can disqualify a prospect, the more time and money it’ll save us. Here are ten ways:

#1: Maybe there’s a TYPE OF JOB that you will not do. For example, let’s say you’re a consultant and you specialize in working with only medium-sized businesses (e.g., anything above $20M in revenue). Or, you may be a consultant and you don’t do workshops. Or, maybe you’re a workshop type of person, but you don’t do speeches. 

#2: Maybe you have a minimum value prospect (MVP) proposition. In other words, if they can’t afford $XXX (budget), you can’t work them. Let’s say that you’re selling consulting services, and you’re not willing to work with anybody who doesn’t have at least $20K or $30K budgeted for whatever service you offer. I’ve told the story of how I went to get the kitchen and bath remodeling done. I was disqualified over the phone when the person said, “We don’t work with projects that are less than $5,000.” That’s qualifying by value.

#3: Maybe there’s a specific requirement based on the product or even service that you offer. For example, maybe you’re a pool company. You sell to homeowners or you sell to some commercial locations, but one of your requirements is that if it’s less than 30,000 gallons, that project is too small for you to work on and you will not accept it and you’ll pass that on. 

#4: The type of client. Maybe there are certain clients you simply cannot work with because you can’t really help them or they just don’t line up with what your services offer. For example, maybe you’re a company that you doesn’t work with banks. And if you do work with banks, maybe you only work with local or community banks. 

#5: Location. You’ll only travel to certain places. Maybe you’ll say, “You know what, I’m in Georgia, so that means I only work with companies in Georgia.” Or maybe you’ll broaden it a little bit and say, “You know, on a national level, I work with companies in the U.S., but I will not travel internationally to do business.” 

#6: You don’t accept specific work during a specific time. There are parts of the year where you just don’t work or do business. For an exaggerated example, if you’re a landscaping company and you sell sprinklers, you know that in the winter you’re not going to sell/install sprinklers. 

#7: Time commitment. If the time requirement here is too long, it might not be financially worth it for you.

#8: Situation. Sometimes you want to work with somebody, but you just can’t because maybe there are too many people involved. Maybe there are too many departments, and it’s a certain scenario that you can’t work under. Do you have any situational requirements where you will not work with a company or an individual?

#9: How about the payoff? Maybe it’s a job where it’s commission only and the payout structure is not something that you’re willing to work with. For example, a situation where the first 30 days they won’t pay you anything and they’ll pay everything on the backend in 90 days. Or maybe, it’s a net six-month deal where you’ll do the job today, and get paid in six months.

#10: Last but not least is about personality and ethics at this point. Now, this is about the individual. There are certain people that when you meet, you simply don’t like. Maybe you don’t like their personality or there’s something about them that just grates you the wrong way.  This person doesn’t seem trustworthy or reasonable. They’re not willing to do what you suggest or recommend. 

Now it’s your turn to come up with your list. It’s a great challenge. I would love to hear your feedback on what some of your (dis)qualifiers are!

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