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The Dark Side of Prequalifying Your Prospects

There is an old story about the Jaguar sales person who lost a sale to rocker ‘Rompin Ronnie Hawkins’ because he pre-qualified him.

The successful rockabilly singer did not want for cash, but didn’t look like a typical Jaguar customer when he entered the dealership with his long hair, a beard, and tattered jeans.

The legend goes that when Ronnie seated himself in the Jaguar on the showroom floor, the jaded sales person asked him to leave.

Ronnie did leave, only to return with a shopping bag full of cash. He promptly marched into the sales managers office, dumped the cash on his desk, and said “I’m buying that Jaguar on one condition‚Ķ.that Salesperson gets no commission!”

The technologies available today allow advertisers to pre-qualify prospects and target their advertising. But beware of the pitfalls of disqualifying prospects who might unexpectedly buy from you.

Advertising expert, Roy Williams, identified over-reliance on qualified targeting as one of the causes of advertising failure.

The ability to ‘target’ more finely is appealing, particularly to those who cringe at the old Wannamaker quote, “I know half my advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half.”

But fine tuning your targeting by geography, demographics, psychographics, or any other pre-conceived qualifiers, ignores a few realities.