“You guys have some of the most informative material I have seen EVER!!
I wanted to know if you could give some more in depth info about how as a business owner we should set our standards on what a ‘qualified’ bride is. Is there a set standard to look for? I know there are questions to ask but how do I know from the answers if it’s still as good match?”
Answer: A “qualified” lead is going to be different from one wedding professional to the next.
First, the definition, so we’re on the same page:
A lead is a person who has the interest and authority to buy from you. All you know is that they’re in the market to hire your service, and that’s it.
A qualified lead is a lead that comes with information that makes them more valuable. They’re more “qualified” to be a client for you.
For example, any couple getting married in your local area could be a “lead,” but an engaged couple who was a guest at a wedding and saw you in action would be “qualified” because they a) are likely in the same budget group as your clients b) likely have similar needs.
Before you can determine whether a lead is “qualified” or not, you need to know what a high quality lead is for you.
Considering the BANT criteria is a good place to start:
- BUDGET – Do they have enough money to hire you?
- AUTHORITY – Is s/he the one who will make the hiring decision?
- NEED – Do they have a need you can meet? (This is where style and personality come in.)
- TIMESCALE – Are they making a hiring decision now?
The more information you have about a lead, the more you can qualify…or disqualify…them as a good match for you. Answering these questions will help you determine who you’re looking for.
Now for your other question…
“How do you qualify a lead?”
Some steps to follow to qualify your leads:
1. Ask for additional information on the contact form of your website.
You might ask for wedding budget (just expect that a good number won’t have a clue), three words that describe their wedding style, etc. These fields don’t have to be required, but it gives you extra info you can use to determine if you’re a match.
2. When you speak with them, ask questions to reveal how qualified they are, such as:
- What is your planned wedding budget? (BUDGET)
- Where will your reception be held? (BUDGET)
- Are you the decision-maker or is someone else making the decision with you? (AUTHORITY)
- What kinds of things have you seen at weddings that you liked or didn’t like? (NEED)
- What’s most important to you about the wedding? (NEED)
- What will your ideal wedding be like? (NEED)
- What concerns do you have? (NEED)
- What’s the date of your wedding? (TIMESCALE)
3. Create a sales script that naturally includes these questions.
You can use this on the phone and in the meeting to determine how closely that match your ideal client profile. If you do this right, you’ll convince them of this in the process.
Once you’ve identified your ideal clients, you’ll be able to identify more like them in this qualifying process. They’ll tend to use similar words to describe what they want, they may have features or personalities in common, and they’ll tend to plan weddings at the same type of location.
If you’re brand new, you won’t know what “ideal” means for you yet. Just do your best to ask the questions and learn from the answers you get.
Don’t interrogate couples by firing off all these questions at once.
Practice them until you can say them comfortably and naturally. Start with the easy ones and keep it conversational.
It’s usually not as simple as determining if a lead is qualified or not right off the bat. Some will be more qualified and others will be less; your communication with them will help you sift out the best matches.
The idea of “qualifying” a lead is intimidating. What you’re really doing is getting to know each other.
When you develop a quality relationship, even if you’re not the right match, it’s much more fun for everyone involved.
How do you qualify your leads?