Best questions for a B2B first sales meeting

Asking good questions is key to conducting effective first meetings or discovery calls.

Ask the right questions and follow-up questions and you move toward close.
If you ask too few questions or the wrong questions, good opportunities will slip right through your fingers.

Preparing sales questions helps you stay on track by collecting important info and using the best approaches.

When you prepare yourself with good questions, follow-up questions, and closing strategies, then you are fully ready to sell and close in a consultative manner.

Table of Contents

Best sales questioning strategy for B2B discovery calls

Your ability to close more sales, is directly related to your ability to…

  1. Ask the right questions the right way.
  2. Listen to the answers.
  3. Ask the right follow-up questions. (Which I believe ultimately uncovers the best 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 systematically sell more and faster. They get the info they need and avoid backtracking and rework.

What sales questions uncover at initial sales calls

Your questioning strategy uncovers prospect priorities, objectives, and knowledge. You can only determine these things by asking questions.

A good “closer” (BTW, I think it will 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.

20 Open-ended questions to ask at first sales meetings

Here are 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 questions should be at least a few, that will 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 to get “from hello to close,” contact us.

 

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