What does it mean to qualify a customer?

Discussion in 'General Marketing' started by Mytyme, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Mytyme

    Mytyme New Member

    I read that to qualify a customer, a free trial of a product or a extremely low priced product should be offered and if someone makes a purchase, they have proven that they want to be your customer and are now worth your time. That doesn't sound right and I think that I maybe misunderstanding something.

    I understand asking potential customers questions or reading forums to determine what a customer wants and either providing the solution or pointing them in the right direction to find the solution if you know where it is but can't provide it. Shouldn't a seller prove that their product is exactly what someone wants and give them a reason to buy. I think that free trials are great and I have purchased a few in my time but I don't understand offering them to get someone to prove that they want to be your customer. Either a customer wants to buy or not, either you have what they want or not. I feel that it is the seller who has something to prove not the customer. Maybe I am looking at this from the wrong viewpoint and misunderstanding. Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. Mflaclair

    Mflaclair New Member

    To qualify a customer is something that very few people do in small business. They're too busy selling or convincing someone that they need what you have. I wouldn't give away anything unless I have done my homework and know that this person is qualified. You can spend a fortune handing out FREE product to people who will accept it to get you off their back.

    I look for individuals who need, want, and desire what I am offering.
    Take a hard look at the demographics and find people who are using a very similar product to yours and perhaps yours is superior.

    That's the difference between marketing and selling. Marketing finds someone who has a strong desire for what your offering and selling is convincing someone when they may have no desire at all.

    If your going to give anything away consider a free report. I use free reports all the time, however I do all my marketing online.

    Best of luck!
  3. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    What does it mean to quality a customer?

    To qualify a prospect simply means making sure that the person meets the targeted criteria for your product, and then asking the right questions to determine that they have a problem or need that your product can solve.

    For example. If you are selling a face cream that makes wrinkles disappear, your primary market will be women. But not every woman would be clamoring for it.

    A teenage girl would have no interest, since she doesn't have a wrinkle problem... yet. And an elderly woman would probably be long past the stage of vanity to even care about such a product.

    So your best target group would be middle-aged women who are still trying to hold on to a youthful appearance.

    Then you ask them the right questions to isolate their particular beauty concerns and assure them that your product can deliver the benefits they are looking for. That will further qualify these prospects.

    This would be a good time to offer a free trial so they could sample the product for a first-hand experience. It will help drive up the number of prospects who convert to customers.

    Mytyme: Shouldn't a seller prove that their product is exactly what someone wants and give them a reason to buy.
    The seller should not prove it to just "someone", but to the right prospect. That will increase the probability of making the sale when the seller gives him or her a reason to buy.

    Mytyme: Either a customer wants to buy or not, either you have what they want or not.
    It's not always that black or white. This reminds me of a concept that might be useful when thinking about the sales process.

    You are probably familiar with the saying: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."

    That may be true, but you can figure out how to make him thirsty! [​IMG]

  4. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    I think what may be confusing you is all the hype for pre-qualified buyers when buying leads or mailing lists.
    Those are people who have already spent money and may spend more.
    A lot of downline builders hype that kind of list.

    The other is advertising in the right places instead of to general audiences.
    With RTPR I target arthritis sufferers, orthopedics, chronic pains, etc.
    I offer them a free sample but it's not like advertising on "freebie" sites.
    People who try what I offer are already looking for it when they find me.
    They aren't looking for a freebie but it makes them more willing to try and buy.

    I have dozens of other income streams, like advertising cameras with my photo sites.
    Or books/movies on subjects the pages are about but that's peanuts compared to camera lenses.
    The point is the ads are targeted to the audience who buys that stuff.

    You can buy lists and leads that are very targeted but a good list is expensive.
    Build your own leads with informative content to attract the buyers you want.
  5. Mytyme

    Mytyme New Member

    Thank you for your comments and insight. I really appreciate it. I am slowly understanding that as long as your marketing efforts are targeted towards your specific customer or group that you want to reach, it will be effective. I guess the thing that bothered me most about what I read about qualifying your customer is that offering a free trial was being done just for the sake of doing it, kind of like shooting a arrow in the dark.
  6. HiAchiever

    HiAchiever New Member

    You typically want to "qualify" a potential customer if you are going to spend time or money on that person as an individual. This may include offering free samples or spending time with that person in a mentoring relationship.

    The product or opportunity you are offering typically is best suited for a certain segment of the population. Perhaps what you are offering appeals to a particular age group, sex, income range, ethnic group, religion, etc. To determine whether you provide your time or sample products to that person you must determine if they fit the profile of a typical customer. If they do, that "qualifies" them.

    Advertising, on the other hand, is about targeting your ads (that emphasize the benefits of your product or service) to the segment of the population that meets your product's likely customer profile.

    By targeting your ads, we mean placing your ads in locations that people who meet your likely customer profile will see them.

    For example, neither wrinkle reducing face cream nor arthritis medication would sell well from ads purchased at seventeen.com. Teens who frequent that site do not fit the profile for those products. It would be a waste of money to advertise these products there.

    However, ad buys at aarp.org, where older people are likely to visit, will probably be more effective for both products.

    So, in order to save you time and money, you need to develop a likely customer profile. Then, you need to determine if either (1) individuals you are going to work with or spend money on meet that profile, or (2) your likely customers are attracted to a particular media before you spend money placing ads on that media.
  7. OrganicWealth

    OrganicWealth New Member

    I agree with all. Identify your target market or niche. If it's the opportunity you want to attract people that want to make an income. If it's a certain product or service, same thing.

    Identify a problem per se and solve it. If you have the product or service that can solve a problem, that's your target market. If the timing is right for that person with YOUR product or service, they should qualify themselves. I think a lot of it is how you present yourself and product/service.
  8. gtomoe

    gtomoe New Member

    If you are doing any type of sales, qualifying a customer just simply means asking them questions to find out if they are looking to buy what you have to offer. The more questions the better. Start with general or broad questions and then narrow it down and get more specific. Notice that I didn't say interested, interested doesn't necessarily equal wanting to buy.

    The more you do this the better you will get at asking the right questions and recognizing the signs of someone who is ready to buy, that way you don't waste your time on people who aren't ready to buy any time soon or at all.

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