How to Deal With Half-Baked Responses to Your Qualification Form

You might decide to put a qualification form on your website at some point.

Especially once your business becomes more established.

Because once you reach a certain level of success, you may find yourself fielding lots of inquiries from potential clients — most of whom aren’t a great fit.

A qualification form is a quick and efficient way to assess these prospects, without having to schedule an exploratory phone call.

The form doesn’t have to be lengthy. A few essential questions about the project, such as scope, budget and timelines, can help with your decision making.

But sometimes, my coaching clients who use this method to qualify prospects report that they’re getting half-baked responses.

By “half-baked” I mean that some of the questions are left unanswered. Many have only one-word or one-sentence responses. No additional details are given.

So what are you supposed to do with that?

When You Have an Expensive Problem

Before I address that question, give this a try:

Think of an “expensive” problem in your business or personal life. By “expensive” I mean that it’s a problem that you really care about.

Something that has a high financial cost associated with it. Or big implications of some kind.

It could be a problem you’re currently experiencing, one you’ve had in the past or one you see coming in the future.

Maybe you need to buy a new home. Or you want to hire a fitness trainer. Or you have a big medical issue that needs attention.

If an expert in these fields — someone you thought could possibly help you —  presented you with a qualification form, how would you respond?

Would you fill out the form half-heartedly? Would you give one-word answers and leave half the questions untouched?

Or would you think through your answers and respond in detail?

For example, if you were in real pain and needed a dental procedure, would you simply write, “My tooth hurts”?

Or would you write, “I’m having sharp pain in my top, back right molar when eating and when pressure is applied. It’s sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, and I have swelling in surrounding tissues.”

My guess is that you would write the latter.

Because when you’re serious about working with someone on a problem that’s important to you, impactful (and potentially expensive), you WANT to provide that person with as much information as possible!

Let Your Qualification Form Do What It’s Supposed To

So when someone fills out your form half-heartedly, it’s a major red flag.

And the odds are pretty high that they won’t be a good client for you.

I’ve seen this in my own coaching business.

On a few occasions, I’ve admitted people into my coaching programs due to extenuating circumstances — even though their responses on my application form were greatly underwhelming.

In every case, it turned out to be a bad decision.

So let your qualification form do the job it’s supposed to do. Trust the process.

When someone submits a half-baked response, take that as a strong indication that the person won’t be a good client for you.

They may be great people. They may be a good prospect at some time in the future.

But you can assume that they’re not a great prospect for you today.

And you should move on to the next one.


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