As a woman business owner there are a trillion things that you could be doing on any given day in your business; this makes your time your most precious commodity. The saying "Time is money" is no exaggeration when it comes to how you spend your time as it pertains to operating and growing your business. Business women networking is smart and an excellent method for growing your prospecting list. However, it is essential that you prequalify your prospective clients whenever possible to ensure that you are maximizing the amount of time spent prior to setting up that phone call or in person meeting.
If you are offering a service such as small business consulting, there are qualifying questions that you can ask even from your website. Your "Contact Us" page can be used to give your visitors and prospective clients guidelines as to what you offer and guide them as to how you can serve them by asking prequalifying questions as they pertain to what you offer as a business. See our MACsWomen contact us page for an example.
Once you have established contact, you can further quickly determine if your prospective client is ready to conduct business or if they are still in the "gathering more information" stage. Asking questions like when will the project and their budget and how ready are they to move forward are great ways to minimize wasting time with prospects who are not ready to make a purchase. Your time as a business owner is valuable and you must choose to use it wisely.
Excellent customer service is always the best way to conduct business of course, whether a client is ready to buy or if they are still in the discovery stage. Creating a checklist of qualifying questions, based on the services you offer along with some general ones, like the questions mentioned above will serve you well with saving time and providing the best information to your prospects in an efficient manner.