All growing organisations have one thing in common, they all care about their customers. From the outset of the sales process their sales teams ensure they understand the needs, issues and goals of their prospects (this is what separates the amateur from the pros). In the amateurs, sales teams are all about the product & features. When it’s time to enter the pro’s it’s all about the prospects needs, problems & goals.
I feel like this needs to repeated:
These questions I am about to outline below, can help you determine your own Value and be used when helping your sales team qualify potential leads.
What’s the issue that has led you to contacting us?
This allows your Sales Team to immediately determine what has the caused lead to come to you. The first step in the customer-buying process is problem recognition, so understanding their problem is a big step in understanding what your actions need to be in resolving their issue. This also allows you to understand the motives towards why people come to you.
For example, last week the fan above my stovetop had stopped working (not really my expertise) so I wen’t to a kitchen department store. Immediately the sales member came up to me and begun trying to sell me a whole new kitchen. Once I explained to him what I needed his excitement level fell, but he was able to solve my problem in a much faster and effective time. This is why this question needs to be asked. It allows you to determine which features of your product they will value and allows you to solve their problem.
What has made the issue so urgent that it has motivated you to take action? Why didn’t you take action 6 months ago? In your opinion is this something that can wait?
Asking this question from a sales perspective allows you to create a mental time frame of the sale. From a value perspective it helps you determine why your ideal customer profiles need to take action to purchase your product or service. In my case mentioned above, my fan was broken so it had become urgent. It wasn’t broken 6 months prior and it wasn’t something that I determined to be something that could wait. This helps you create an understanding of your future leads, knowing the reason why they’re taking action helps you create a better pricing strategy and one that is more valuable to the customer.
What were you hoping to accomplish by contacting us?
This question lets you know the value the lead want’s to get from you. What it’s expectations are in contacting you and the goals they want to accomplish. From a sales perpspective you now know what needs to be done to have a happy customer. This makes it easier for you to create an organisational ambassador.
How do you compare to your competitors?
This begins to create a sense of urgnecy within the prospect. Every intelligent business owner or entrepreneur knows that there is always somewhere that can be improved. So when asking questions about their competitors and how they stack up, it helps you understand where they want to be and also how they are currently performing.
If we solve this issue & accomplish what you wanted us to, what is that worth to your organisation?
Finishing with this question allows your prospect to understand that you are all about business. They will leave the conversation knowing that you understand what they need to be accomplished and that this is something you believe you can complete. Asking the prospect what they think this is worth gives you the opportunity to determine what they value and how much that value is worth to them. This begins the process of price negotiation and allows future price discussions to come from a more solid base.
Getting your sales team to use some or all of these above uestions will help in qualifying and framing of a purchase decision in no time. You will be surprised how much of a difference the framing of questions are in the beginning of the sales process.