Opportunity vs. Client: Managing Your Sales Process

August 23, 2021

Table of Contents

The Highs and Lows of Customer Service

Have you ever been told that your customer service is subpar?​

I have, more than once, unfortunately.

As a business owner, this can be terrifying, but it’s actually not a bad thing. It all comes down to the basis of a sales funnel and managing our own expectations. I have a one-room, small design studio with a team.

One day I was in the middle of a proposal presentation for a project (we later won the job) and a call came inquiring about working with us.

As best as we can, and with an ongoing meeting in our small office, someone on my team takes the call. For the sake of efficiency and process, we always direct telephone inquiries back over to our website to complete our Project Inquiry Form. This caller wasn’t having it and responded with “Well, that’s no way to treat a customer!” and promptly hung up!

If I were a retail store, this would have really bothered me, but let me be absolutely clear about one point: this caller was not a customer nor were they a client: they were an opportunity.

Taking the right steps for your business to qualify a prospect is critical to aligning your client with your creative value.

Corey Klassen, CMKBD

Pre-Qualifying Saves Businesses Money!

As a small business, I developed a process that helps me manage the types of project inquiries we receive. 

I worked hard at it and discovered that because we use Mydoma Studio with all our clients, being technologically savvy is actually a requirement for us. So, I’ve deduced that if they can not or are not willing to participate in the process with ten minutes of completing an online form that this is not our client.

When I finally made this decision, it was extremely liberating! We will always complete the form over the phone, if they had hung on a second longer, but this caller assumed that they were in a position of power, which was a bold move, because they did not understand there were ten inquires before and after them. 

Taking the right steps for your business to qualify a prospect is critical to aligning your client with your creative value.

Discover how you can use Mydoma Studio to save time & impress more clients

Don't Negotiate Your Process

It is important to not negotiate your process and stand firm. Every person is unique, everyone has different needs and requirements, every site condition has a different set of design parameters. Being secure in a sales and design process is essential to the quality of work and ensuring that your clients become your biggest, cheapest, and most highly-valued marketing engine.

Separate Sales & Design Process

We have a clear line between an opportunity for work and a client. Before someone can become a client, we must understand the project and propose what we will do for them and, if they accept, they pay us what we are asking for. A car dealership has the same process, and, in fact, so does the rest of the world.

Here is some terminology to use in your Sales process:

  • An Opportunity is new business, unprocessed.

  • Once determined they may be a fit, they become a Prospect.

  • After speaking to them and agreeing to assess the project needs and requirements, they become a Qualified Lead and have a Deal, worth a dollar value, attached to their profile (proposal for services.)

  • A Client graduates from being a Qualified Lead after signing and paying. 

  • A Dead Lead is when you discover that what a Qualified Lead wants doesn’t work for you or your business.

  • Lost Deals happen for many reasons, price being one of them.

  • Unqualified Leads happen as well, many people call this “misalignment.”

Stand Firm in Your Process

It is important to not negotiate your process and stand firm. Every person is unique, everyone has different needs and requirements, every site condition has a different set of design parameters. Being secure in a sales and design process is essential to the quality of work and ensuring that your clients become your biggest, cheapest, and most highly-valued marketing engine.

I’m reminded about a video clip where Joyce Didonato explains how going through the process isn’t a recreation of doing what just worked – clip below. (You don’t have to agree, but if anything, you get to listen to some great music.)

Discover how you can use Mydoma Studio to save time & impress more clients

Written by Corey Klassen, CMKBD

Vancouver-based Kitchen/Bath Designer. Learn more about Corey here.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest