Sell More by Double-Checking Your “Gut” Instincts

Have you ever told your sales manger you were excited about a sales prospect, only to be caught dumb-struck when she asks you to explain why you are so confident they will buy?

Many top performing sales people develop a gut feeling for good prospects, but that doesn’t mean our gut is always right.

Fortunately, when we look back at the prospects who turn into customers, we will see they almost all share 6 characteristics in common.

If we develop the simple discipline to stop and analyze how each of our sales opportunities rank with regard to these 6 characteristics, we will develop an accurate “gut check” (and impress our managers too).

An easy way to remember these 6 key characteristics is by using the acronym B.A.N.T.E.R., which is short for:

BBudget: Does the prospect have enough money (or bank financing) to afford your product or service? Are they willing and able to spend it?

AAuthority: Are you dealing with the person with the authority to sign your contract (and your check)? If not, you’re being screened by an “influencer.” This is normal, but you must have the “decision maker” on board before you’ve got a deal.

NNeed: Does the prospect have a need for your product? What is the financial impact if they do or don’t purchase your product?

TTiming: Has the prospect set a deadline for making a decision? Is that deadline self-imposed or due to an external factor?

EEngagement: Does the prospect respond to your calls & emails quickly? Do they follow through on commitments they make to move the process forward? This E could also stand for Energy, Enthusiasm or Excitement, but I think you get the idea.

RRationale: Customers require a rationale before they decide to buy. This rationale often takes the form of an ROI (Return On Investment) calculation, but as pleasure boat sales demonstrate every year, sometimes that rationale is purely emotional. Whatever it is, make sure you understand the rationale that is important to your prospect.

If you quickly run through each point in the B.A.N.T.E.R. system as you plan each sales call and then again as you debrief afterwards, you will increase the quality of your sales opportunities and increase the percentage that become customers.


1) Do you use a system to evaluate your sales opportunities or simply go on “gut”?
2) If so, what is that system and how does it work for you?
3) Is there anything you think this B.A.N.T.E.R. system is missing? If so, what and why?

Happy selling this week. Remember, it’s an abundant world so focus on building value and detach from the outcome.

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