Focus on Who’s Important: Ways to Identify a Prospect from a Suspect

It is true that when you have a high quantity of prospects, you will never run out of people to share your opportunity and your products. However, in today’s increasingly competitive sales landscape, quality beats quantity, and so having a handful of high-quality prospects is preferred than having a bunch of low-quality leads that, at any chance, will never convert into a customer. Read on as we detail in this post what makes a quality prospect, and how to easily identify them from the haystack of low-quality “suspects” that exist in the market. Definition of Prospect: A lead which has a high probability of turning into a customer. A prospect can be an acquisition officer who is genuinely looking for an enterprise platform, or a man looking to buy a gift for his wife. They have real motivation to purchase and want to hear about your offer to make an actual purchase decision. Regardless of their motivation to buy, they still need to be convinced that your product is worth their investment. Definition of Suspect: Any person who shows the same interest as the prospect but does not have any means or intention to buy the products/services you are selling. A suspect can be an office employee who wants to impress their boss by presenting information about your solution, even if their boss does not need the solution in the first place. They can also be a website visitor who only wanted your premium content and are just sticking around to see what else you have for them.

Ways to Differentiate Prospects from Suspects

  1. Prospects Share Critical Information

On the other hand, a suspect is not looking to buy from you, which means they do not have to give you proprietary or personal information about them. If someone is genuinely looking for a solution, he or she will be willing to provide you with the details.
  1. Prospects Tell What They Need

Prospects have the genuine need for your help and will waste no time to get more information about the product/service you are selling just to address the issue at hand. Depending on the immediate nature of their need, they may even clear the schedule to set a sales demo.
  1. Prospects Have a Specific Acquisition Timeline

Another significant differentiator between a prospect and a suspect is their timeline. Prospects generally look to buy sooner rather than later. A suspect cannot tell when they will be ready to buy, and as such spending time working on that suspect can be a very expensive mistake. It is important to ask for your prospects early on and move them back to marketing if they need more time deciding.
  1. Prospects Know When to Make a Decision

Prospects know exactly what their need is all about, and the features to look for to satisfy that need. By asking the question “Have you made a purchase decision like this in the past and how did you go about it?”, you will be able to uncover better insights about them that will allow you to create a more effective sales proposal.
  1. Prospects Are the Decision Maker

If your contact keeps on referring to other people when talking about their company’s past purchase decisions, then there is a good chance that you are just talking to a suspect. As such, it is wise not to structure a good deal for a person if they are not in the position to make the final decision. If your potential customer ticks all of these boxes, then chances are they are a prospect. Now that you know how to differentiate prospects from suspects, you will now be able to increase your sales team’s productivity and improve your sales performance. If you need help in honing your salesforce’s prospecting skills or want to expand your knowledge by undergoing our Corporate Sales and Management Training program, email us today at or call us at 1300 611 288.