Have you spent time with people you thought were prospects, only to find out that they were just clogging your sales pipeline?

You aren’t alone. But there’s a test that will help you separate the wheat from the chaff, the prospects from the suspects.

Here’s the test: Prospects who are truly interested will fully engage with you, while suspects will do so only as long as it is safe for them to do so.

One way to administer the test: Ask the person to share some something about themselves or their business that is not public knowledge. Prospects who are genuinely interested will open up, because they see the value in sharing proprietary information. Suspects won’t.

Ask questions that yield some proprietary information, reveal a critical need or establish a timeline that points in the direction of a close. If you don’t get a straight answer, your “prospect” might belong in the suspect pile.

Source: “Sales Prospecting that Works,” an e-book by Mark Brooks.

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