Don’t Pre-Qualify your lead

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If you have ever worked in sales for more than a month and received training, you have probably heard this before. Don’t pre-qualify your lead.

What exactly is a lead? What does it mean to pre-qualify a lead? And what the heck does that have to do with relationships?Well, a lead is simply a contact that may…or may not become a customer. It is at best a prospect. Just an opportunity that may or may not result in a commitment.

So what does it mean to pre-qualify a lead?

It’s when a salesperson prematurely tries to quickly determine if a prospect is actually capable of buying so he/she can determine how to treat that prospect. The salesperson quickly sees if the prospect fits the “buyer profile” and if not, the prospect is treated differently.

If the prospect sounds or looks like they have the capacity and intention to buy, the salesperson’s behavior changes. He/she speaks politely, is  patient to hear every word that comes out of the prospect’s mouth and even offers them coffee in the lobby.

However, if they don’t look or smell like money, the unwise salesperson disconnects, makes a mental decision that the person isn’t of much use, and behaves accordingly towards that prospect.

But the truth that any good salesperson knows is that you just never know who your next big customer will be. In fact, some of the biggest customers may be ones that DON’T look or sound like the typical buyer. Many a salesperson has missed out on big fish customers because they were looking for ones that fit the profile.

Same is true in relationships.

Many of us meet people all the time but we pre-qualify them prematurely. That’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that our behavior towards them becomes disrespectful and we throw courtesy out of the window. It’s like we are saying, “If you are not dating/marriage material, then you don’t deserve my courtesy and respect as a person”

However, just like in sales, you just never know who your big fish is.

Sometimes (in fact MANY times) the person who can add the most value to your life doesn’t look or sound like the profile you had in mind. (CLICK TO TWEET THAT)

I know some people are reading this and saying “naaahh…that’s not me. I don’t do that….I treat everyone with respect and courtesy”….well, let’s see.

If you are a lady, think about the last 10 guys that showed an interest in you, but you were not interested in. Did they walk away from that situation with their dignity intact? Or did you make the situation awkward for them? Did you use them to pump yourself up with your girlfriend as you flashed her the “please save me from Godzilla” look? Did they walk away kind of embarrassed? Did they walk away saying wow “I’ll never do that again” Or did they walk away feeling like “wow the world is full of great…classy women?

If you are a guy, think about the last 5 ladies that you have shown interest in (but didn’t have an interest in you) or who have shown interest in you (but you had no interest in) and ask yourself those same questions…

You may not have realized it until now but you may be “that girl” or “that guy” that tears down people because you think they are a bother to your “royal eminence” simply because they were not your type or they didn’t “meet your standards”.

I hear ladies all the time saying things like “It’s so frustrating to be approached by all these guys that I have no interest in”.

Oh my my my how terrible that must really be… (to be considered attractive or desirable to the point where guys are willing to take the social risk to approach you) versus not being approached at all…

Just think about that for a moment

Even when you determine that this person is not dating/marriage material, you shouldn’t treat them with less respect or less courtesy than they deserve.

Why, because just like in sales, even if a prospect doesn’t “buy” from you, their positive experience with you may inspire a testimony about you and ultimately result in a referral or introduction to someone who does buy.

So you made a move and SHE wasn’t interested. That’s ok. Keep it moving and still treat her with respect and courtesy. Don’t respond in anger to try to mask the bruise on your ego. That’s petty and immature.

So HE is not dating material. He is “not your type”. That’s ok. Still treat him with respect…still be courteous. How much work did you have to do to become “attractive” in his eyes to be worth approaching? Nothing. HE interpreted something about you that was worth the pursuit. That alone is a compliment. Give him an “A” for effort.

Does all this mean you shouldn’t have standards? NO. Does this mean that everybody you meet is a prospect? Probably not. You should have standards and you should have a good idea of what you want. There is nothing wrong with that.

The problem comes when you leave a trail of rudeness, lack of courtesy, shattered confidence, seeds of anger, broken self-images, and disrespect along the way. The problem is sowing negative seeds in the hearts of people (about themselves and the opposite sex) as they come in contact with you.

In my next post(s), I’ll tell you the specific effect this can have on you and the people that come in your life. I’ll also tell you ways to tell someone you are not interested in them without being rude or insensitive.

UPDATE: Part 2 is out! CLICK HERE For Don’t Pre-Qualify your lead Pt-2 (The effects on you and the other person)

So…how would you rank yourself on the courtesy meter? (Put answers in comments section)

(10 being you are sweet as pie when dealing with people you are NOT interested in and 1 being that you give a taste of bitter olives when you are dealing with people you are NOT interested in)