Have you ever spent hours speaking with someone that inquired about your business only to find out that they could not afford your services or your services or products were not a “good fit” for their business? I’ve even experienced that after I talked to someone for hours then they revealed they did not like anything to do with computers, social media or learning in a virtual environment. Had I know that I would not have even scheduled an appointment to learn more about their business. They were not my ideal client.

As a business owner we need to think of our time as billable hours. We need to consider every meeting or task whether or not it is a good use of our time. So, I hear you asking…”How do I do this?” The answer lies in your prequalifying procedures. When you follow my steps below you will know that the person you are meeting is your ideal client. Your ideal client wants your service and is willing to invest in it.

Two Steps to Prequalifying Clients

1. When someone visits your website or contacts you on the telephone ask him or her a series of questions. It may be only three or six questions. This will show you two things. First, it will show you the person is committed by answering the questions and can follow directions. Second, it will let you know more about the person seeking your service or product. This will allow you to determine if the person is your ideal client or whether you may want to refer him or her to another business associate.

2. Your next step after receiving the answers to your questions is to send a reply along with a description of your services and fees. In your reply you will want to schedule a time to follow up in person or on the telephone. The person will have your fee schedule and a list of your products and services. This will allow the person to know before the session whether or not he or she can afford your product or service.

When you prequalify someone interested in your products or services you will save the other person time and embarrassment if they cannot afford your services or products. You will save yourself time and money by not spending hours with someone who is not your ideal client.

Your ideal client may not be able to easily afford your product or service. But, if he or she has the desire to invest in your product or service he or she will find the money. Prequalifying the person based on their ability to pay allows them to save the money until they can pay. It also allows him or her to find the money. Maybe he or she needs to wait a month until a bill is paid off or until it is income tax time. That is ok. They will know not to spend that money. They will also know upfront the value of what you offer. Yes, they may shop around and that is ok. But, if they are your ideal client he or she will hire you when the time is right without you having to do a heavy sales pitch. Prequalifying your clients will save you both time and money.

Author's Bio: 

Jaynine Howard is a retired United States Marine and former psychotherapist. She is the owner of Dream Catcher Business & Life Coaching. Founded in 2006, Dream Catcher Business & Life Coaching helps business owners, nonprofits, and individuals nationally and internationally turn their dreams into wealth and success. Coach Jaynine and her team of associate coaches will help you jump start your business and life through business, career, and life coaching. Jaynine is a member of the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce, the Carteret Chamber of Commerce, the American Psychological Association, 24/7 Coaching, and Coachville. You can download your free ecourse My 5 Secrets to Networking http://networkingdetox.com/.