The 7 smartest questions successful salespeople ask

Salespeople have a tough job. No one likes to have their day interrupted by them. In fact, they’ll often ignore them. Think about it. How often have you walked into a store needing help with a purchase, only to tell the salesperson that approaches you that you are “just browsing”. Below, we reveal the 7 smartest questions that will get your prospects to open up to you. 

“Did I catch you at a bad time?” 

Often salespeople ask when they call “is this a good time to chat?”. But when has anyone waited for a sales call or actively made time in their day for it? Instead, ask them if it’s a bad time to call. In most scenarios, it won’t be a bad time and gives you the chance to make your pitch without getting cut off.

“What are your work pains?” 

Buying is an emotional process. Remember, your prospect is a human being. They are going to be more interested in your product if it solves a problem for them rather than just adds extra to their current situation. Find out what their work pains are, sympathise and pitch your product as the solution to their problem.

“What do your customers say about your products/services?” 

When you ask prospects about their business they are usually a little biased. Their ego gets in the way and you don’t get an honest answer. By asking what their customers say, you can understand what their business needs truly are and customise your pitch around that.

“What would you like this service to do for you?” 

Once you’ve established what your prospect needs, you need to talk them into it. It’s no good telling them what they need, they have to come to that understanding themselves. By asking what they want your product to do for them, you give them the sense that you are building a custom solution for them.

“What is your budget/what would you like to spend?” 

While it’s usually considered the taboo question, at some point salespeople have to talk about money. By asking them what would be their ideal budget, you get an idea of what is realistic for them. This is also better than asking what level of services they are willing to pay for as this will make them feel like you just want them for their money. Remember, handing over money is a very personal connection so you need to make your prospect feel in control at every step of the way.

“Who needs to be involved in the buying process?” 

You need to find the key decision maker, but you don’t want to insult the prospect you’ve been speaking to. Ask them if anyone else needs to be involved in the buying process. That way you get an idea of who else you need to build relationships with to close your sale successfully.

“Would you like a quote or proposal?” 

Your prospects answer will go one of two ways. Either they’ll be interested or they won’t. To make sure you can push for a positive result, remind them they can use the quote or proposal to compare against their current supplier. Or give them a quote/proposal and tell them they can keep it while they consider their budget. By making the quote/proposal a non-urgent next step in the process, prospects will be more likely to consider your offer genuinely.

To keep track of your leads progress through the sales cycle, use a lead management tool like GatorLeads. If they are not ready for your sales questions, consider putting them in an email campaign until they are.

Better yet, why not use this information to help you build an overperforming sales team?

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