What I Learned About Qualifying Prospects from Disney World!
There are many schools of thought about qualifying your leads ranging from “You never know if it is a small fish or a whale” to “I only want to go out to the top 20% and close at 80%.”
I can’t tell you where you should be along that scale, but I do know that it is worth spending some time thinking about and get clear on.
I think the first question we have to answer is why we actually qualify leads in the first place.
- Is it so we get rid of the “tire kickers”?
- Is it so we only land the profitable ones?
- Is it to maximize our limited time as a salesperson?
I actually think that those are the wrong reasons.
I think the reason we qualify is RESPECT.
From a posture of respect for the prospect, we want them to engage with a contractor that most closely resembles what their needs and desires are. When this sort of respect is our desire, the result is we only keep appointments with those who actually want what we do best at the price point we do it at. This eliminates all sorts of bias and stereotyping and gets you in front of the right customer almost every time.
So what does this have to do with Disney?
I am a student of the business of Disney World.
…their leadership and management model,
…their amazing culture and customer service,
…the way they delight you as they suck money out of your wallet…
So just for fun, I thought I would request a proposal for a small conference I am planning for late next year.
I was curious about their process.
I was interested to find out what the customer service was like from the event planner end.
And I was dying to know what it actually might cost to hold an event at Disney World.
So I filled out an online RFP (Request For Proposal) and waited.
Well the first time, except for the automated response that they had received my request, they straight up blew me off.
Well, maybe it slipped through the cracks, so I decided to try again.
The second time I got a “Sorry we have no available space for you” response.
Seriously? The size of my group could fit in a broom closet at one of Disney World’s massive conference venues.
So because I am a glutton for punishment (and I hate rejection), I decided to call. This time they asked me a couple of questions and sent me back a very loose and vague proposal.
I had the option of three resorts at three price points for guest rooms and a food and beverage minimum of $28,000 dollars for 75 people for 2 days. This is before any A/V, service charges, gratuities. And that was it. I have never heard from them again.
I am really not surprised.
I was kicking the tires.
I was most likely not going to spend Disney rates on a conference for my clients.
But I did get a glimpse into how one of the most revered customer service companies in the world goes about the qualifying process and how they handle someone that is most likely a bad fit for what they do best at their price point.
So what is your qualifying process and why do you do it?
What are your goals from the process?
And do those you dis-qualify feel respected or rejected?
We will talk about some best qualifying practices next time.