Experienced sales reps know that some questions are the key to understanding customers and prospects. But what are these questions? And how to ask them?
Asking the right questions at the wrong time or asking the wrong questions, can scare your potential customers and make them walk out from a discussion – or even worse, it can be so annoying that these potential customers will simply go buy somewhere else.
Therefore, we need to find an elegant way to ask our prospects guiding questions, questions that will make them reveal their needs and pains, while maintaining a friendly attitude and not adding any pressure to the process.
Below are 5 questions that does exactly that.
Use them on your next sales meeting to improve your closing rate immediately:
1. What brings you here today?
The usual response of a sales person to an approaching prospect would be “How can I help you today?” However, this question makes it super easy for the customer to avoid the question and say something like:”No thanks. I’m just browsing for now.”
If you got this response, you probably just lost your chance. You were blocked and didn’t get any new information about your prospect.
However, if you ask something like “What made you call today?”, you’ll get a much more informative answer and an opportunity to enter into a deeper and much more interesting discussion.
2. Why do you have an interest in this product?
You’re probably being asked often if you’re company offers a specific product or service. Your first instinct will be to answer with a short yes/no answer. However, the best response to such a question would be: “Yes, why do you have an interest in this product?”
This question will open a discussion which can help you learn a lot more information about the current status of your customer and how to better serve/pitch your product to match his needs.
3. What’s your decision-making process like?
In any organization, as you already know very well, there are decision makers. The sooner you learn about these key players, the better. If you got a proper answer to this question, you’ll be able to optimize your approach to the company.
This is a key question. Without this knowledge you’ll be left with guessing what’s the best approach to the organization and where do you need to invest your efforts in order to make sure you’re on the right track to a successful sale.
4. Why now?
Within this question, there’s a hidden question.. In fact, what we’re really asking here is “What’s your timeline?” or “When do you need this product?”.
A good answer to this question will indicate about the urgency of the need to your prospect. Understanding that will make sure you’re expectations and schedule are aligned with your potential customer.
5. What’s your budget?
Or in other words: “What’s the investment you’re looking to make in such a product?”
Most prospects will try avoiding this question, it’s ok. You don’t have to get a detailed answer. The reason for bringing this up is to get a notion of the price your prospect is looking to spend. It can be very valuable in terms of focus and alinement of interests.
Furthermore, keep in mind that this is the only the first step of your negotiation so there’s no need to push too hard for an answer. You just need to make sure that your value proposition is clear enough prior to diving into price negotiations.
Personalize and add these questions to your sales call script & confirm the answers, and you’re on the right track to managing your sales pipeline more effectively and closing more deals.
About the author: Ohad Oren is Co-Founder and COO of ONDiGO. Prior to ONDiGO he Co-founded several start-ups. Ohad has years of experience in Sales and Business Management. You can follow him on twitter on @OrenOhad
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