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The secret to great sales has always been great questions. We hope you find these tips useful & that you can incorporate them into your sales.
10 steps to creat killer sales questions for any business!
1.Open questions – Use these to gather information & opinions
Open questions should have no specific answer & should encourage discussion, make sure you are listening for overly broad statements
An example of an open question:
How do you think outsourcing lead generation would increase the conversion rate for your sales team?
2.Closed questions – Use these to establish facts
Closed questions should have an either/or answer & should not encourage opinion or speculation, the answer could also be a number.
An example of a closed question:
Have you ever considered outsourcing lead generation to increase sales for your business?
3.Get the lay of the land – Using a combination of open & closed questions
Establish a clear understanding of your customer’s current situation. You probably have some idea about how your prospect could use your product or service.
An example of using a combination of open questions & closed questions:
- How is your marketing team generating leads for your sales team currently? (Open question)
- Do you have enough sales leads? (Closed question).
- What sort of conversion rate does your sales team have? (Closed question, you need a number)
4.Spotlight on pain – What is making your customers unconfortable, frustrates, angry or desparate?
Find the pain. Establish what is causing your customer to be uncomfortable, frustrated, angry or desperate. These are strong emotions, you need to find as many as possible. These could be regulatory issues, legal responsibilities or industry-specific.
An example of set of questions focusing on customers problems:
- You don’t have a regular supply of leads for your sales team?
- You pay per lead but you don’t know how many you will get on a regular basis?
5.Pile on the pressure – Focus your questions in areas where you have discovered there is a problem
Ask questions specifically about the problems that you have uncovered, these are where you start to leverage how the benefits of your product or service can help.
An example of questions used to add pressure to the problem your customer faces:
- How long can you keep your existing team, without a regular supply of leads?
- If you don’t have a regular supply of leads how do you measure conversion rate?
6.Wrap it all up
Match the benefits for your product or service to the consequences you have uncovered.
eg. You need a regular supply of leads for your sales team & you need to know how much it will cost you each month, so you can budget & manage your sales teams time more efficiently?
7. Always have a plan!
Make sure you have a clear purpose for the questions you are going to ask. Prepare for each time you speak to your prospects, new contact, someone you have spoken to before, an acquaintance you should have something prepared for everyone.
Don’t get bored & move off message, just because you have asked the same question to everyone you meet in a day, it is the first time they will have been asked by you. Make it count!
Tip: Roleplay your sales questions a few times before you go live, it helps to give you the confidence & is a chance for you to practise some of your objection handling!
8.Create a library – When you find a question that works well, keep it!
Start to keep a record of your successful questions, you will be able to look for patterns & find what works best for you. This is also a great way to start building a training resource for your business & will also highlight areas that you are not focusing on when meeting prospects.
9.Industry-specific questions to focus on technical issues
You will be able to demonstrate some of your skills & knowledge.
eg. How many calls per day do you expect your team to make when prospecting?
You can also target weaknesses in your competitor’s products & services.
eg. Do you get 24/7 support?
You can explore regulatory or compliance issues, make sure you listen!
10.Listen! Make sure you actively listen to the answers to your questions!
Be ready to explore new opportunities that you discover. Encourage your prospect to expand on their answers, just because you think you know the answer do not assume anything!
Example of using active listening:
A:”We aren’t doing anything at the moment”
Q: ” When you say at the moment, does that mean there is something planned later on?”
Explore the replies you get, watch out for massively broad statements and answers containing words like; Always, All, every time, Never.