One of every salesperson's most important responsibilities is to keep the top of their respective sales funnels full of potential opportunities. Some of the opportunities might be new. Some might be from existing customers. Either way, they both count based on the prospecting you've done to drive business.
Whether you are at a trade show, on the Internet, the phone or face-to-face at a customer's facility, you must quickly determine a prospect's legitimacy. Wouldn't it be great if legitimate prospects wore buttons that said "Hi. I'm a Legitimate Prospect!" Of course, selling is not that simple and the challenge of identifying a legitimate prospect is part of the fun and excitement of selling.
We believe the best way to identify legitimate prospects is to question your prospects to see if they're MAD! No, we don't mean that they are angry or crazy, although sometimes crazy might be helpful. We mean that they are MAD enough to be convinced of your specific value proposition. We mean that they believe what you are selling solves a pressing need they have. In a business to business environment, this usually means what you propose either helps the customer make money or save money.
The first part of being MAD enough is to determine if your prospect has Money. Is the project funded or budgeted? If not, it could be an uphill battle to acquire the funding; therefore your sale is in jeopardy. If the prospect does not have the Money, you're probably not talking to a legitimate prospect, at least for the immediate time frame.
Even if funding is available, does your prospect hold the second key to truly be MAD? The Authority to approve the funding for the project? Are you talking to the economic buyer (the person who can approve the purchase without needing permission) or someone who reports to the economic buyer? Your biggest clue is the pronouns your prospect uses. If you hear something like "They will have to review this," you are not talking with the economic buyer. Pay very close attention to the pronouns prospects use.
Lastly, is the prospect MAD enough to have the Desire to get the deal done! Is your ROI compelling enough to save the prospect significant capital or allow the company to grow revenues? If the prospect is MAD then you do indeed have a legitimate prospect!
Being MAD requires that your prospects have the Money, Authority, and Desire to buy from you. Ask targeted, specific questions to determine if your prospects are MAD.