You’ve worked hard to finally get your prospect on the phone or land a meeting with them. At this point, you’ve probably sent countless emails and left numerous voicemails. Before all of that started, you had to find your perfect target, so you focused on maintaining a near-perfect prospect list.
Now, it's time to talk questions... Not just any questions, however, but the kind that build long lasting business relationships.
To grow your business, it’s your responsibility to make your buyer understand that your solution is helping them overcome the real life problems they’re facing - not hypothetical ones. If you follow a discovery process that includes asking the right questions, the buyer will lay out a roadmap for how you close more business.
In order to know what questions you should ask, it’s important to consider your prospect as a person and nothing else.
Think about the process of becoming strongly acquainted with another person. The first thing you do is introduce yourself, plain and simple.
After the ice is broken, you begin the process of getting to know the prospect a bit more. You learn about who they are, where they're from, and their current situation.
From there, you get personal. As your questions get more personal, they get more specific. This is where you learn about the why, or the intent of the other person.
Once you more completely understand the other person, you can form a meaningful, mutually beneficial partnership. This, in its entirety, is the framework for deciding what questions to ask your prospects.
Your level of question specificity could be looked at as a funnel:
To kick things off, start slow.
Start with broad, open-ended questions to build initial rapport and assess buyer needs. Remember, you are trying to build an ongoing partnership that is based on trust.
INTRODUCTION: Some of these rapport building questions can include:
How is your business going?
What are you doing this weekend/How was your weekend?
I've gotten a sense of your business from your website and marketing
materials, but I'd love to hear more about it from you.
How did you hear about us?
What was your past experience buying X?
When was the last time you purchased X?
After you get through these critical top-level questions, it’s time to take a deeper dive to connect with your prospects in a meaningful, solution-focused way.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU: These deeper open-ended questions can include:
What is most important to you and your team right now?
Who typically works with you to make buying decisions?
What is your biggest area of focus in the first six months of the year?
You specialize in X niche. Why did you choose it?
Did you use checklist or comparison matrix to help you make a purchase decision for X?
Walk me through the process you've used to fix X problem?
By asking questions that are open-ended, yet specific enough to your prospect, they will be more inclined to be transparent and honest with you.
GETTING PERSONAL: Your most powerful question should be the most personal.
How will solving this problem or achieving this business goal impact both your organization, and you personally?
Knowing the impact that your product or solution will personally have on your prospect and their team is essential, because it helps you better understand and focus on a specific, meaningful, and mutually beneficial end goal.
Again, growing business and forming lasting relationships is a question-based process.
You can provide value to your prospects by leading them through a carefully planned discovery process - including a set of questions that help both you and them.
If you learn to look at your question process as a series of steps that build upon one another, you’ll better understand the exact problems your prospect is trying to resolve.
Sticking to this process will more quickly turn your prospect into a partner.
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