When you're having a conversation (or series of conversations) with a potential customer, work these questions into the dialogue. Once you've gotten answers, you'll know exactly what you must do to turn the prospect into a customer.
- How did you get into this [line of work/industry]?
- What do you like best about your job?
- What do you wish you could improve?
- What can you tell me about your priorities?
- How are you currently addressing this [problem/opportunity]?
- How much is this [problem/opportunity] costing you?
- What can you tell me about your decision-making process?
- How do you handle budget considerations?
- What other options are you looking at?
- What can you tell me about the people involved in the process?
- What obstacles might be in the way of moving this forward?
- How will you be evaluating different options?
- How will the funding for the project be justified?
- How much attention is this [problem/opportunity] getting at the executive level?
- How does this sound as a next step? [briefly describe]
These questions are variations of a list sales guru Barry Rhein gave me a few years ago.
Note: Never interrogate the customer. Instead, use these questions to move the conversation gradually forward. This may very well require multiple conversations.
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