Customer questions will inevitably vary, but there are some that you’ll likely face with every single prospect. And further, certain questions can be critical to your success. How you respond to these questions can impact whether or not someone buys. This may be especially true now given current conditions. “In today’s challenging and uncertain business climate, your customers have good reason to be cautious,” writes B2B sales professional Bob Apollo for Customer Think. “They are unlikely to initiate new projects unless they see them as being strategically relevant, tactically urgent, and capable of delivering rapid time-to-value.”
Specifically, there are three customer questions that Apollo believes are especially critical, and reps should be prepared for these so that their responses hit the mark. Generic responses will not get you the sale, especially when buyers are being extra cautious. Apollo discusses these three questions, as well as how reps can thoughtfully respond to each.
Customer questions and how to prepare for them
The first question he introduces is “Why should they change?” It can be tough to entice prospects to switch to your product or service, especially during a time of economic uncertainty. That’s why it’s important that you prepare thoroughly for this question. If you want to inspire them to change, there are four things that you must understand.
You must comprehend their current situation. First and foremost, before you are even asked this customer question, you need to be familiar with their current vendor(s), their trajectory, their goals, their challenges, and anything else that gives insight into their current situation. Not sure where to even begin? Apollo suggests finding out the answers to these questions:
- What’s going on in their business and in the world around them?
- What is working, and what isn’t working?
- What are they comfortable with, and what are they concerned about?
To find out how to answer customer questions, you first need to ask yourself questions. Learning as much as you can about the prospect will help you be better prepared to inspire them to make a change.
Next, you need to think about where the prospect is headed. Again, asking yourself questions will prep you for the customer questions. Here are a few Apollo suggests:
- What are the outcomes they need to achieve
- How will they know they have reached them?
- What are the metrics they will use to measure their progress toward their goals?
Digging deep and answering these questions to learn their trajectory can help round out your knowledge of the prospect and their business. If you can show the prospect, “a large and growing gap between their current situation and their expected outcomes they are far more likely to accept the need for change,” Apollo explains.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being able to prepare for customer questions. Apollo goes into more depth about how to proceed with your preparation for the other two questions, detailing how you can meet these questions head on with responses that will truly resonate. Because, as Apollo points out, “If your answers to any of these questions are less than completely compelling, the chances are your customer will stick with the status quo.”