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Pre-qualify – don’t pre-judge – your prospects

Just over a month ago, my son, Phillip, was traveling to Alaska and had his golf clubs stolen from the protective carrier after his bags had been checked.

I had promised Phillip that when he graduated I would buy him any golf clubs of his choice. Considering it wasn’t his fault they got stolen, I decided to get him the clubs of his dreams sooner than we had planned, and told him to go test out some different clubs before he made his decision.

Phillip went without me to try out the different brands of golf clubs. When he got back, he said he had a horrible experience testing the clubs. The salesperson in the golf equipment department paid no attention to him. When Philip asked to try out some clubs in the practice net, the salesperson merely unlocked the cage and let him in without a word being spoken. After Philip was done hitting the golf balls, the salesperson didn’t ask him a single question.

Needles to say, Philip left the store without making a purchase. He said he felt like the salesperson thought he was just somebody with no money in his pocket and nothing better to do than test out some golf clubs he had no intention to buy.

Two days later, I took Philip to a teaching professional and golf club sales representative. They asked him a series of questions about his golf game, watched him hit practice balls with a variety of clubs, measured every aspect of his swing, asked more questions and mapped out his recommendations on a chart. We ordered 13 new golf clubs that day.

Bottom line, you can’t pre-judge a prospect before pre-qualifying them. I’m sure at some point we all have, but it’s important to remember, “Never judge a book by its cover.” Never judge a prospect without taking the time to find out if they are indeed a qualified buyer. You may be surprised.

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