Do You Know These Must-​Ask Prospect Questions?

BY Kathy Crosett
Featured image for “Do You Know These Must-​Ask Prospect Questions?”

If you’re preparing for a meeting with a great prospect, you’ll want to make a good first impression. This meeting also has to count in terms of the information you’re able to get out of your contact. Asking the right questions during that initial meeting will help you launch a solid relationship and lead the prospect deeper into the purchase funnel.

The value-​building questions Marc Wayshak recently outlined for readers on a salesforce​.com post are designed to help you develop questions that will lead to bigger sales.

Many times, your contact may start discussing a business problem during your meeting. At that point, it’s tempting to launch into your pitch about how your product will help resolve that problem. There’s nothing wrong with that approach, but you might be missing an opportunity to score more revenue. This is the time for you to ask something like, “Can you tell me more?” Getting the prospect to elaborate and discuss the details will reveal exactly what the company has been struggling with.

While the prospect is describing the bigger issue, you should be listening. In fact, Wayshak suggests that you limit the amount of time you talk in a meeting to 15% or less of the total conversation. When you sense that you’re running your mouth about your products too much, change direction mid-​sentence and turn a statement into a question for the prospect. This tactic will help you steer the conversation toward what will benefit the prospect's business.

As you listen, you also need to stay one step ahead of the prospect. Your ultimate goal is closing the sale, but you should find out about the hoops you’ll have to jump through before everything’s finalized. Every organization has its own decision-​making process. The more you learn about that process in advance, the better. If the client mentions other staff members, find a way to ask if they'll be key decision makers for your product or service. That question may encourage your prospect to talk about the internal buying process. If it doesn’t, remember to ask how the buying process works so you won’t encounter any surprises when it’s time to sign the contract.

Wayshak offers ten must-​ask questions in his article. Read them over and decide which ones will work best for you.