Have you ever wondered why your potential clients or prospects would always end the conversation before you finish your words? Does this happen because they are really rushing and do not have time to listen more? Or your pitch and words are not attractive enough to grab their attention?
When we talk about sales, REMEMBER communication is the main key to close the sale. Sales qualification is a game of questions. Unless you ask the right questions, you won't be able to uncover the right needs nor understand the right problems to solve. It is indeed a game of questions when it comes to sales qualification.
Did you know, asking the right questions to your prospects will help you to close more deals and at the same time it will provide you with clarity and a deeper understanding of the prospect’s needs?
1. The Origin or Introductory Question
This kind of question allows them to share their updates and gives us a little heads-up about their business. We should not bombard them with our words or impress them with what we have first. Give them an opportunity to talk about their life in the business, listen to their problems and try to fit us in their shoes so we can understand them better. As quoted by Melvin Chan, CEO of Adstrux Asia - ‘Our job is not to sell, our job is to help them. Always remember when it comes to dealing with clients this is not about us, this is about them’.
As a result, it will help us to know them better and be able to sync our product or services that we offer with them effectively.
2. The lesson question
As we can see, the world is facing the most outrageous disease, COVID-19 which is bombarding the entire nation across the globe. The companies, business and SMEs nowadays are trying hard to cope and accommodate themselves in this alarming situation. We need to know how our prospects have changed in order to figure out not just what they want, but also what they want to avoid. This lesson question, if it is being asked correctly, will offer us useful information that we can get.
For instance, assuming our prospect is actually in the automotive industry, where he is selling cars in the business. The questions that we ask are - “What were some of the key lessons you learned about your business during the initial stages of the pandemic, and how do you believe your business will change going forward?” From these questions, we can learn and see what the business is exactly facing and what their problem is. Indeed, it is actually depending on the type of business you're phoning and this also might elicit an emotional response. If you modify the case to a personal insurance line like life or health, you can see how important this question might be. As a result, be cautious while asking questions. Prospect questions are designed to supply you with information so that you can give a unique response, not to add to your personal anguish or sadness.
3. The insomnia question
The purpose of exploratory questions is to gather information and identify both difficulties and opportunities. While your prospect might need for more money, a fancier vehicle, a huge house, far more fulfilling work, and so on, these are all possibilities. These are things we eagerly anticipate. The pain is the main subject of the insomnia inquiry. As a matter of a fact, it is only inquired about sleeplessness if you know the prospect, or possibly during a follow-up contact following your original contact. The question is straightforward: "What keeps you up at night?" It's now vital that you deconstruct the response.
Imagine that you are an auditor in a company, and your prospect tells you she's focused on making her target margins on a consistent basis. While the apparent explanation is that there is a cash flow problem, this suggests that there may be operational problems as well. It's also possible that there are personnel concerns. It might also be a personal problem. While the obvious answer is that there is a cash flow issue, this implies there are possibly operational issues. It could also be personnel issues. There's a lot more to it than the initial reaction, but it allows you to play the role of solution architect with your potential customer and meet them where they are.
4. The Success or Achievement question
Most people are aware of this kind of question. “What does success look like?” or “How do we become successful in it?” Little did we know, if we do not know how to answer these questions, we are actually in grave danger. As a business person, we should know what we are going to achieve in the company. What is our mission and vision, what is our long term and short term planning for the organization.
In all management meetings, we've learnt to have our research done, data double-checked, and backup ready. This similar inquiry can help you set expectations and establish the destination your client is looking for, allowing you to design a personalised solution that will demonstrate to your prospect that you are the obvious choice.
It is crucial to follow up this question with more clarifying questions on our prospects. For instance, “What is your goal for this month?” or “What we can do on our behalf to help you achieve your target?” With these questions we can make our prospects more focused on their goals and measure their success accordingly. Our job is more into helping their success journey smoother by offering our services.
5. The triple question
This question required 3 steps of questions.
First step is reconnection : “What is the update?” This question, like the others, allows your prospect to talk about, share, and inform you on the pains and possibilities that have arisen since you last spoke. It's okay for you to explain what's new with you, how you've developed, and the deals you've made (to display your enhanced value).
Second step is to look further : “What is the plan?” allows your prospect to share their needs, their objectives, and yes, their next vision of success.
Third step is offering business : “How can we help you?” In other words, this step is more onto closing the deals with the prospect. The most engaging question that we can ask before we end our conversation with them. Remember, to keep them first and you need last. Try to understand the value for them and sync with your business.