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Art of the Sale Your sales prospects may not think they have the need, power or budget to invest in your product. Here's how to change their minds.

By David Newman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Every sales expert, author and trainer worth his or her salt will tell you the tried-and-true formula for sales success is to target the prospects who have the need, authority and budget to buy your product or service. Sure, this is good advice. But it is also much easier said than done.

Let's face the facts: These "need-authority-budget" people are darn hard to reach. In fact, according to my completely nonscientific study of this matter, approximately 90 percent of entrepreneurs deal with people who may not know they have a need (clueless), may not be the decision-maker (powerless) and may not have the spending authority (broke). What's a smart entrepreneur to do?

Well, I asked some smart entrepreneurs this very question, and I'll share the lessons they learned from the official curriculum of the school of hard knocks on how to gracefully and effectively move from the wrong prospects to the right prospects.

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