The Best Sales Questions to Ask Prospects

BY Jessica Helinski
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One of the best ways to get to really know a prospect is to ask them questions. So, why don’t more sales reps take the time to do so? It may be because the reps already feel as if they know everything about the prospect. Or, the reps might not even know what questions to ask. Also, many in landscaping might not even have a sales-​related background. So, stepping into the role of sales rep can be tough. Asking the right questions that keep conversations flowing doesn't come easily to everyone, but, luckily, Lawn & Landscape’s Lauren Rathmell shares some great ways to kickstart conversations using the best sales questions to ask prospects.

What and When To Ask

First and foremost, you should be asking your prospects open-​ended questions. These questions, that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no response, are key to keeping dialogue going. “Open-​ended questions allow the client to add additional insight and give you more tools to advance the sale,” Rathmell explains.

One of the most important times to ask questions is when qualifying leads. Rathmell suggests setting aside time before the initial conversation to come up with some open-​ended questions: the best sales questions to ask prospects. Think of what you want to learn about the prospect and what you need to know to make sure they would be a good fit for your product or service. 

The Best Sales Questions to Ask Prospects

Rathmell offers some suggestions of the best questions to ask prospects: 

  • What is your number one goal? (This is the easiest way to determine if your product or service could truly help this particular prospect)
  • Is this process something you are comfortable with? (If they name a part of the process you've laid out that they're uncomfortable with, it will be exposed now. After that, you just need to find a way to ease the prospect's worries)
  • What are you looking for in a landscape company? (Again, this will either qualify or disqualify you from fulfilling their needs)
  • What are your immediate landscape needs?
  • Passing baton of power: If this decision were yours alone, what would you choose to do? (This can expose if you're talking with the decision-​maker and who else you need to get in these sales meetings)
  • How long have you been thinking about this? (This question can potentially get the prospect in the mindset that time is of the essence. They've been sitting on this problem for a while. Why keep waiting to take action?)
  • Why are you using this space? (Now is the opportunity to brainstorm with the prospect to establish your authority in the industry)
  • How often do you entertain? (This can indicate if the client cares about the perception of their peers)
  • What are your goals, and why did you choose to call us?
  • Why are you looking to make a change in providers? (You'll get some notes on how you differ from your competition that you can leverage during this and future sales)

Sprinkling these questions into your conversations can not only help you qualify leads, but also give you fantastic insight into what the prospect wants and needs. Also, make sure you are taking the time to actually listen to the prospect's responses. Do not immediately jump in with a response yourself. Get comfortable with silence, and, as Rathmell adds, “If you wait for a response, you may be able to draw out more key information.”