#39 Courting your IP prospect to a sales call
The second marketing phase in professional service businesses according to David H. Maister is courting. This means that your initial message to a wider audience has triggered a response and you have identified one potential client among the mass. Your aim is then to get the prospect closer to you, preferably into a sales call with you.
As an IP professional, one of your most important assets is time. You do not want to waste your time with prospects that are not going to end up being your clients in the first place. Qualifying is important. There are three ways of qualifying the prospect; money, authority and need. First you have to find out, whether they have the financial resources for your service. Secondly, you have to make sure that you are speaking to the correct decision maker. And finally, you should figure out that the prospect actually has an urgent need for your IP service.
Before the sales meeting you should not speak a lot about yourself and your IP service. You should have the full focus on the prospect and their problems. Frankly, it is all they really care about. Your prospects do not care about you at all. They care about their problem and whether you are able to solve the problem. That is all.
When your focus is in helping your prospect rather than getting their money, your chances of landing a sales meeting with the prospect is much higher. You will be pitching and promoting your IP service but that should wait until the sales call.
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