The traditional way of qualifying a customer has got to go. It’s a waste of time. Take B.A.N.T. for example. (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing) Could there be a more self-centered, self-centric approach to qualifiyng? BANT operates from premise that they need your product or solution. In essence B.A.N.T. says, before I wast my time sharing with you what great products I have, I want to make sure you are the right person. Or, put another way. Let me waste your time, so I don’t have to waste mine. Really?
I’ve been sold a million times, and if you are qualifying me based on your needs, I’m gone. I don’t have the time to prove to you that I’m your guy until I know you can actually do something for me.
The only way to qualify a customer is to determine if you can impact their organization. It’s that simple. A customer is qualified if you can demonstrate you can reduce time to market, increase sales, decrease expenses, improve the customer experience, strengthen the brand, improve efficiency, create a competitive advantage, etc. Without solidifying your capabilities in actually improving a prospects business, BANT or any other qualifying approach is remedial.
Once you’ve proven you can impact their business in a meaningful way, go ahead and use BANT. It’s absolutely a good way to manage your pipeline.
Qualifying for you doesn’t cut it anymore. Customers and prospects don’t care about you. Qualification happens when YOU have found an opportunity the customer didn’t see. When YOU have identified a problem that is costing the customer. Only after you’ve identified how, where and why you can positively impact your customers business are they qualified. Anything else just makes you a pain in the ass.