Knowing What to Do with Leads

by Viggo Madsen

Presentation made to Orem ELP in Utah County this past Friday, October 14.

He opened up by suggesting that many entrepreneurs miss pulling in new clients because they don’t know how to appeal to the leads they get in the proper manner. After calling on all the members of his audience to briefly tell what their business provided, he said we must learn to walk in our potential client’s shoes. He said we need to ask the questions: Who would buy my product or service? Why would they buy it.? Or to put it another way, “What is their conceptual idea of what they want?” and “What will your product or service do, conceptually, to meet that want?” These are your two selling tasks.

People Buy Wants, Not Needs

Always find out what your customers really want, never assume you know. The business person who doesn’t find out often ends up “selling” his product’s features, and if you are selling features, you are not selling wants. ¬†This usually translates into either poor or no sales of your product. To your potential purchasers, features don’t matter. They could care less about features; they want to know how your product or service meets their wants.

Price Doesn’t Matter

Price doesn’t matter either. If your product or service can be shown to meet their wants–really meet their wants, they will buy it no matter what the price is.

Ask Key Questions

To find out what their wants are, you must ask questions. After asking each question, be quiet… and listen… listen for the answer. And then, based on the answer, ask the next question. Always stay focused on finding out their wants in relation to your product or service. Do not second guess the answers. Whatever answer you receive, act as if it’s the first time you have ever heard this answer, even though it may not be.

Your questions should be open ended, ones that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no.” Make sure you are listening sufficiently well that you can rephrase their answers to be used as you do your presentation. He suggested we use an “Analysis Sheet”–a spreadsheet with the following column titles to take notes as to what they share in response to the questions:

  • What do you want to do?
  • How are you doing it now?
  • What do you want to change?
  • How would you change it or see it changed?
  • If it could be changed, what is the expected result (ROI)?
Then you share, based on their responses “How my product or service meets their wants.” Ask the question:
“If I can show how my product or service will meet all your wants and needs, is there any reason why we cannot go forward?” Wait for the answer, then tailor your presentation to meet their wants and needs.
Some Don’ts
  • Don’t say, “What do you think?” as you finish. You already know it meets their wants. Ask for the sale.
  • Don’t lead with price. Price is never the issue.
  • Don’t try to sell them when your analysis shows that your product or service does not meet their needs and wants. Just tell them it doesn’t and get ready to leave without making the presentation. If they should object, go back through the analysis and ask them what, if anything, has changed in their answers. Based on those “new” answers, you decide whether to move forward. You always control the “No, this is not for you.”


Always learn your prospect’s needs and wants. Sell to their wants. Follow up with the features once you’ve sold their wants, so that they can justify the purchase based on their needs. Ask questions to determine their wants. Use the analysis spreadsheet to write down their answers. Share your product’s or service’s ability to meet their wants in your presentation and back it up with the product’s or service’s features. Don’t forget to ask for the sale.