BANT: Confirm Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline
Have you BANT-ed your pipeline? If you haven’t done so till now, you are dead in the water!
Ignore the awkwardness in future; BANT your prospect immediately! There’s no shame in it and 99% of the prospects will appreciate you for it. Qualification must also be done at every stage, at every meeting if you can. This will keep you and the prospects honest. And, take it from pure sales experience, the prospect will appreciate you doing this. Why risk losing the deal just to avoid asking some simple questions?
Anyone who has carried a bag knows how deals can just vanish or walk away. Have you faced any of these situations? The decision-maker changed, other priorities have come in, the budget has diminished, the pain-point got solved by a competitor, they didn’t know you as well as you thought they did, or just, maybe, your internal champion went on vacation and didn’t tell you. How many closes have you lost because of these?
Have you heard the expression, “Change is the only constant!”? If you are in sales and do not live by this axiom, you need to stop and re-examine yourself. The truth is that things will change and they will always keep changing. You cannot stop it or avoid it; and neither can your prospect. Add to this the busy lives everyone leads, business situations demanding immediate attention and constantly changing information, prospects are inundated with choices. How can one succeed in sales then? The answer is re-prospecting and re-qualification and rinsing and repeating this throughout your sales process.
Even when you are past the Qualification stage and are designing the solution or quoting, it still doesn’t hurt re-prospect and re-qualify. Unless you are in a one-call close, you must remain uniquely sensitive and respectful of the prospects’ changing needs. Thus, you cannot and must not take one conversation to the bank. Always re-confirm by phone, email or face-to-face.
Recap: If you really want to be a rainmaker, don’t ever stop prospecting or qualifying!