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Newsflash: You're Wasting Your Time!

Following leads, scheduling appointments, spending evenings at networking events, making phone calls...and yet, you’re not getting the sales results you want. How can you invest all this time and energy without boosting your numbers? Easy.

You have been spending too much time with the wrong people.

Sure, you’ve met some great people and have enjoyed the conversations. You may even be offering advice and solutions to some of these new contacts. And they’re still not doing business with you! If this is you, read on for Training Tip Tuesday.

Let’s first look at why your efforts are not producing the results you desire. In simplest terms, these people are not your Ideal Clients. You may be in the same industry, you may have a product that others in this industry desire, but there’s more to your Ideal Client than that. Take a moment to describe YOUR Ideal Client:

  1. What is the title of the decision maker?

  2. What is the problem (or set of problems) you and/or your company are uniquely qualified to solve?

  3. What is the budget range for the product or service you refer to in the previous question?

  4. What is the desired timeline for the client to make a decision?

Your Ideal Clients all share this set of common attributes and that’s what makes them a perfect fit for the value you deliver, the competitive edge you enjoy in the market, and your company’s strategic goals. Your Ideal Client description may also include the size of the company you are best suited to serve, a geographical location, a specific industry or market, or the cycle or change point a company may be in to need your services.

Once you identify and target the clients who are the best match for you and your company, you will improve productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

Now that you have a description of your Ideal Client, it is time to use it. Imagine you are in a room with 19 suspects and 1 prospect. If you are allowed to ask them only 3 questions to find the prospect, what three questions would you ask? At The Communication Gym, we call those questions Elevator Questions.

Based on the characteristics you identified in your Ideal Client description, you need to develop questions you would ask a suspect. Their answers will help you determine whether the suspect in front of you has the characteristics you are looking for in an Ideal Client.

Here are some examples of Elevator Questions:

Decision Maker/Budget

  • Is this an individual or team decision?

  • Are you the decision maker and what is your budget?

  • What is your current average monthly cost?

  • How much have you spent in this area over the past 5 years?


  • What is your biggest challenge relative to [your company’s solution here]?

  • Relative to your business, what keeps you up at night?


  • How soon are you looking to take action?

  • Have you discussed when you would be ready to change providers?

Use these questions to help you focus your sales efforts on clients who will truly benefit from your services and minimize the time you are spending on unsuitable suspects. Although your questions may change slightly based on each suspect call, there should be a general information thread you are looking to uncover.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • What problems are they facing that touch your world?

  • What are the consequences for them if they do not solve the problem?

  • How prepared are they to solve the problem?

  • Who else needs to be involved in the decision?

If you’re ready to learn more about your Ideal Client and Elevator Questions, watch the Live @ The Gym Session we aired last month. Coach Dale Fallon and Randy Beaman, Vice-President and Relationship Manager of Corporate Banking at Univest Bank & Trust in Doylestown, PA, work through Randy’s Elevator Questions.

Come work out your communication muscles with us Thursdays at 11:30a ET for Live @The Gym on LinkedIn.

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