Failure to ask the right questions is one of the biggest causes of lost sales. When lack of preparation results in wasting the prospect’s time – and your own – it can be vexing for both parties.
It is only by asking questions that you can be sure you’re pitching the right product or service to the prospect. While some salespeople believe they can read minds during the sales process, assuming anything about the buyer can lead to a world of trouble i.e. failing to close the deal.
Here are the six most important questions to ask during the sales process:
What’s your name?
Surprisingly, many experienced salespeople often skip this step. Not taking the time to get acquainted with your prospects is not only embarrassing but shows you have little genuine interest in them. Making the sales process personable should be your focus, not making a sale. Go the extra mile by asking how their day is going.
What Is your budget?
While asking your prospects what their budget looks like isn’t recommended during the early stages of your pitch, it is something you should get to sooner rather than later. By waiting too long to ask this question, you could waste a significant amount of time pitching products or services that are out of their price range. Handled correctly, you will find most prospects are honest about their budgets and will appreciate not having their time wasted listening to pitches about products or services they can’t afford.
If you must have one feature, what is it?
In this modern age, we often try to source products that can take care of more than one thing at a time. We bundle our cable and internet services and buy phones that are becoming increasingly like computers daily. As a salesperson, you may overwhelm yourself if you ask for everything the prospect is looking for in a product. The list will go on and on, leading you to forget things and panic. Asking them to name one “must have” feature will give you a solid understanding of what they are looking for. Other bells and whistles can be covered later as the conversation deepens. First, you must make sure you can handle the customer’s biggest need.
What other products are you using right now?
Asking this question will help you recommend a product that won’t disappoint your prospect or customers. By doing this, you can also find out more about your competitors, thus giving you the ability to show prospects why your products are a better choice.
Have you done business with us before?
Returning customers deserve the same level of attention you put into gaining new ones. They have taken the time out of their day to give you another shot, you mustn’t assume they know everything there is to know about your current offering. Ask why they’re coming back as this is a golden opportunity to find out what your competitive advantage is over your rivals. Be enthusiastic and appreciative as you welcome them back with your updated pitch. Never forget to go over new products and services with returning customers.
How should I get back in touch with you?
You may find yourself needing to reach back out to a prospect for many reasons. Perhaps, when you first pitched the product, they were not ready to commit. Or, perhaps they needed to get their finances in order. to it or needed time to secure the funding to pay for it. Once you have their preferred contact, create a follow-up schedule, and stick to it. You never know when a little patience and determination will pay off!