We’re looking at the 7 Pillars of Story Selling this week. Pillar #1 is to do with disqualification…

There’s no point in building a big email list if your readers don’t have the problem you solve, don’t buy into your long-term vision, and don’t have the funds or decision-making capability. You want to disqualify those people out either before they opt-in, or shortly after.

Your story, told authentically, will do that. Telling your story by regularly emailing new subscribers serves two purposes:

1. Potential clients who share your values will be drawn towards you

2. ‘Trouble clients’ will be put off, or ‘disqualified’

This second idea of disqualification is at least as important as attraction. You could argue that disqualification follows attraction. You attract attention first, then you disqualify.

You don’t need to be a jerk about disqualifying people. You can disqualify people by forcing them to make a decision about you.

Assuming they initially like what you have to say, you then need to know a few things about them. These things are what John Mendocha calls the ‘5 Power Disqualifiers’:

1. Do they have the bleeding neck problem you solve?

2. Do they have the money to solve it?

3. Do they have the decision-making capability?

4. Do they buy into your Unique Selling Proposition?

5. Does what you sell fit their overall plans?

John’s list is geared towards sales, not marketing. But you can uncover the answers to these questions through your initial emails to new subscribers.

Your welcome email is perhaps the most important email in all your email marketing sequences. It should set out the ‘lay of the land’, but also disqualify people who are never going to buy. So tell them upfront what they’re in for!

After the welcome email, you then determine whether they buy into your USP and overall plans through your ‘Lead Incubator’ onboarding sequence…

The Lead Incubator is also a good test of the bleeding neck. Contacts who really do need your help will likely read every email you send out. At the end of your sequence you present your vision for the future, which acts as a litmus test for disqualifier 5 (do they share your long-term vision?).

A good Lead Incubator sequence will apply the power disqualifiers without asking directly. Only readers who pass the disqualifiers will respond to your offer at the end. The rest will unsubscribe or move on to your long-term nurture list (if they don’t currently have the money, for instance).

You disqualify people who don’t currently have the money by talking about pricing in your call-to-action email. Or at least the methodology of how you price projects, if you don’t want to throw numbers around. Of course, you can do this by showing how the investment is small compared to the value they receive.

If you don’t have a ‘Lead Incubator’ sequence, or if you don’t send a carefully crafted welcome email when people sign up, you’re missing two key disqualification opportunities.

The purpose of both is to protect and leverage your time. They are guardians at the entry point to your world.

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About the author 

Rob Drummond

Rob is the founder of StorySelling.biz.

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