Asking good questions is very much akin to preparing a good sales script.
The purpose isn’t to turn you or your sales team into robots, but to help you stay on track with important info and best approaches.
When you are prepared…. with good questions, answers to questions and closing strategies… then you are truly ready to sell and close in a consultative manner.
Your ability to close more sales is directly related to your skills and ability to…
1. Ask the right questions the right way.
2. Listen to the answers.
3. Ask the right follow-up questions. (Which I happen to believe ultimately uncovers more info you need to close than the initial question.)
4. Listen to the answers to the follow-up questions.
5. Adapt your tactics and dialogue from there.
If you ask the right questions and really listen, you will have the information you need to close the sale.
Many salespeople resist preparation…. thinking about the best words to use and writing them down… as somehow constraining them, costing them time or making them seem robotic. Not true. It liberates you and gives you confidence.
Those that sell methodically sell more and faster. They get the info they need and avoid backtracking and rework.
Your sales appointment questioning strategy reveals to you what is important to your prospect, how they describe what they seek to achieve by purchasing your product or service, and how much they know. You can only determine these things by asking questions.
A good “closer” (BTW I think it would be more accurate to refer to them as good “questioners,”) wouldn’t even try to close until they had moved solidly through certain phases of a sales call. Questioning. Listening. Discussing options, sharing info, advising. Arriving at a mutual agreement.
These questions, and the 30 in another article, should help you in the first phase of your sales calls.
Here are another 20 questions.
1. When would you like to achieve that goal?
2. When was the last time X failed you?
3. Do you know why?
4. Do you know your risk factor for… ?
5. If the speed of X could be improved, what would it mean for you?
6. How do you ensure quality?
7. When do you anticipate your next upgrade?
8. Why do you have these initiatives?
9. What are your competitors doing?
10. How strategic is this/
11. What would happen if X failed?
12. If there was a failure, worst case, what kind of impact would that have on your operation?
13. When did you last change vendors?
14. How long ago was that? Did it accomplish what you wanted?
15. Would you benefit from a separate set of eyes to come in and help you… ?
16. Do you have other projects to free up your people on?
17. What are the consequences to you if… ?
18. Have you tested… ?
19. What impact does that have on customer satisfaction?
20. What are the consequences of those complaints?
Among these 50 questions should be at least a few that help you extract information you can use to close more, and close faster.
Many companies I have helped to set more high level sales appointments, have asked me to speak or coach on improving conversion ratios of their meetings. If you need help “from hello to close,” contact me.