In the last blog, about what goes through the prospect’s head (mine, at least) just before choosing an IT Professional, ArtsyTECH posted a great comment:

“On the flip-side, there are many tire-kickers and time-wasters out there that drag negotiations on… and from the perspective of Freelancing, there are many interesting projects and decisive individuals that know what they want when they see it without extended pre-amble… after more than 10 years I’ve mostly found the latter relationships rewarding and the former dissapointing. Procrastination is a serious red-flag for me.”

That’s an excellent summation of setting criteria for ideal prospects, and sticking with your criteria. If you have a solid set of referrals, you can set your definition of a good prospect, and focus your effort on getting hired by them.

To me though, spending a couple extra minutes when a prospect is about to decide — reassuring, showing your interest, making suggestions, confirming whether you have addressed their concerns — is worth the investment of time. You’ve already spent time proposing, and already should have qualified the prospect by this point, so why not do your best to win the engagement you have chosen to pursue?

In diplomatic summary, I believe that ARTSYTech’s comments and mine both work, and provide a richer approach to making the sale.