“Ask the right questions if you are to find the right answers.” – Vanessa Redgrave
By asking the right sales questions, you engage a prospective client in a more relevant and powerful way and control the direction of the conversation, which is needed to close a deal.
So, it is the questions that you ask that pave the way to sales.
But, simply asking questions cannot generate the results you want. You need to ask the right sales questions to uncover the prospect’s needs.
This will help you present your solution better. And, by asking the wrong questions, you will not be able to learn what the exact problems are.
However, sales reps often do not realize this and ask questions in emails that turn against them instead of working for them.
You are possibly doing this as well, without even knowing.
So, it is critically important to learn what sales questions can cost you a sale and that you should thus never ask in an email.
And, to make your job easier, we list five such questions here.
Question 1: Are You the Decision Maker?
This is not technically a wrong question, but it does not guarantee a 100% correct answer.
It usually results in a “yes” response, even though, in many cases, the person who answered you might not be the actual person who makes the final call.
And, sales cannot be made on unclear or inaccurate answers.
So, instead of asking this question, you can ask a more detailed and targeted one to get the right answer.
For example, you can ask “With whom do you normally consult on decisions of this nature?”
You could also add to this question: “How are you making buying decisions in your organization?”
This will help you figure out their process when making a decision so that you can craft your pitch and plan accordingly.
Question 2: Do You Want to Save…?
This question can put all your efforts in vain. Whether you are talking about saving time, money or anything else, these are all lame benefits.
This is called a tie-down question and it is a miserable effort to get the other person to say “yes”. And, it never works!
Remember that decision makers are not stupid.
They can easily identify that you are using a trick to open up the conversation and eventually make a sale and that you are not genuinely interested in solving their problem.
Question 3: Do You Want this Feature?
You know every nitty-gritty detail of your product, but that does not mean that the prospect does as well.
So, when you ask whether they want a specific feature, they may be unsure of whether that is a right fit for them. This means that they will either take more time to answer or they will give a vague reply.
Your first job should be to understand their needs and then ask about the features they need. So, a better way to phrase this question is to ask “What do you want this product to do?” or”What are you looking for?”
Question 4: What Is Your Budget?
It is possible that your target buyer might not already have a planned budget and, when asking about their budget, you may get a fuzzy figure.
So, focus on providing them a value-added solution that can solve their real problem and give them a good return on investment.
If they see your product is valuable, they will view it as a worthy investment.
Question 5: Do You Need Support?
You should not put answers in your buyer’s mouth. Rather than inquiring whether they need support, ask questions that will show them that you are committed to helping them with every problem they might face.
For example, ask the following questions:
- Do you want us to guide every member of your team?
- Do you want on-site support?
- Do you want us to create a specific customization for your company?
- Do you want us to design a step-by-step guide for your users?
This will also help you learn more about your buyer’s expectations. And, once you know what they want, pitching your service or product as a solution would be much easier.
So, what sales questions do you ask? Have you asked any of these questions before?