Screening Prospects? Why Harsh is Good…


Last month, I met with a VIP member of my Content Transformation Academy to help her tune-up her sales funnel.

Sarah worried she might be turning away good prospects. 

She’s a business coach who offers a free discovery session to prospects. 

They have to complete a form to schedule that session. And that form asks some tough questions. 

Examples: Sarah notes that her fees begin at $5,000 and asks, “Do you have the financial resources to invest in your personal growth and success?”

She asks, “Are you the sole decision maker should you decide you are ready to invest in my services?” 

And the clincher: “I only accept a very limited number of clients per month to work with, and I select applicants based on those I feel are the best fit and MOST LIKELY to get results as soon as possible from us working together. If accepted, are you ready to get started immediately?”

Sarah was worried that these questions were “too harsh.” She asked whether she should revise the form. 

My advice: Don’t change a thing because…

Questions like these disqualify the tire-kickers

Marketers talk all the time about “qualifying prospects.” Find prospects who match certain criteria and draw ‘em in. 

Yeah, that’s important. 

But it’s just as important – maybe MORE important – to disqualify suspects.

Suspects are the ones who seem to qualify as ideal prospects but turn out to be duds. 

Without this form, Sarah would attract those who say…

“This sounds good, but I’ll have to check with my colleague before committing…” or

“I really want to do this, but I don’t have the budget to make it work right now…” or 

“I’m really swamped right now so I’ll hold off and maybe sign up in Q1 next year.” 

Sarah doesn’t want to spend 30-60 minutes on a discovery call with those people. Disqualify them before the call, rather than learning the hard way after wasting all that time. 

So many benefits to this approach…

Most prospects who arrive at Sarah’s form are already on her email list. 

The form doesn’t end that relationship. 

In fact, it will help to persuade them to act in the future. 

It establishes the call and Sarah’s programs as a privilege to strive for. 

There is ZERO desperation in her pitch which is great because…

Desperation kills sales 

The UN-desperate, the ones who say I’m selective, the ones who say “prove you’re worthy” – they scare away the tire-kickers and attract truly qualified prospects.  

It may take a while before that prospect is ready to fill out that form. 

But when they fill out that form, they have the desire, resources, and authority to act now. And that adds up to more sales with less pitching and prodding. 

One last thing…

I was talking yesterday with a prospect about joining the Content Transformation Academy. 

I told him how VIP members can email me any time with questions about all things related to marketing, sales, and business operations. 

His reply: “Oh! I thought this was only about storytelling and copywriting.” 

My reply: “Great marketing begins with powerful storytelling. That’s the foundation on which you build everything else. But in the program, we cover a lot of everything else.” 

I ran a marketing agency and email software company for 19 years before starting Story Power Marketing.

Lead generation, prospect nurturing, sales strategies, systems implementation, delegation… 

…You name it, I’ve done it. 

And in the Content Transformation Academy, we cover it.

Storytelling and copywriting and most everything else – all designed to…

…transform the marketing process from frustrating to fun…

…and results from sub-par to super. 

For those interested in the Academy, I offer a complimentary zoom session (kind of like Sarah’s). Let me know if you’d like to schedule a session. I’ll send you a link to the short intake form 🙂 

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Get the Story Power Profit Pack -- 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics  to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Twice-monthly live masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.