Qualifying Your Prospect

Yours truly was recently talking with a colleague about qualifying new business prospects. We shared our ideas for how we go about doing it and the questions we hope agencies ask themselves when they are presented with an opportunity that comes over the transom (or as they look at prospects to fill their pipeline.)

You’re going to be spared the questions, but I did want to share with you a interesting perspective. For years I used a weighted grid of ten factors. The weights of each factor were changed to reflect each agency’s goals. So, we’d merrily drop in our subjective ranking of 1-10 in a given factor, then let the spreadsheet do some magic. Presto, chango, we’d come up with a score that helped determine our go, no-go.

The problem? Many times we’d come up with a score of between 65 – 75 on a scale of 100. That didn’t make us feel too good. We needed to pitch the business to make our revenue goals. But a 65?!


So, we stopped doing all the math and making it so scientific. But we still talked about the opportunity. And that helped.

My counsel now is to just make sure you roughly qualify ANY opportunity based on the criteria your agency has developed. Have the conversation with your team. Know why you’re pitching and what the challenges will be. Having a shared perspective and creating alignment is what’s really important.

The “do we want this business and why” conversation also helps kick-start your pitch strategy.

And then, when you learn more, feel free to get the group again and re-qualify. The longer you pitch, the more you spend. And there’s nothing wrong with making sure you invest your next nickel of resources as wisely as possible.

Happy pitching!