qualification clarification – Time vs. Timing

Time-frame, timing, deadlines are all part of qualification. Understanding the prospect’s view of the subject helps you, the salesperson, forecast when a deal will come in to your organization.

Sure we WANT… NEED… MUST understand when that order will be in for our own purposes. I get that – especially as someone who gets paid commission.

When we talk with our prospects to uncover the details, it needs to be all about when they WANT your product at their location – ready to be used… NEED a service performed… MUST finish whatever is prompting their purchase.

Which is why I tend to talk about time AND timing both.

Time can be directly tied to the calendar, yet conversationally I find most prospects aren’t.

More often I hear;
> sometime this year
> soon
> next quarter

Which means I have to be able to ask questions and narrow it down using their language;
> oh, are you thinking the beginning or the end of the year?
> soon enough that we’ll need to ship AM Next?
> to make sure we’re on the same page, when does your next quarter begin?

Timing is more about context than a calendar.

It is the relationship of your product or service to the THING your prospect is trying to accomplish – and needs your stuff to do it (whatever “it” is).

Are you the decorator for a building that is being built? or is it a renovation? or a big party? or they are bored with the current decor?

The when is wrapped around their why… so don’t forget to understand that as well!

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