Last of a two-part series I am frequently asked by clients to spell out the questions they should be comfortable asking on a sales call. This is a dangerous task because it presupposes that every prospect is the same and every sales call is going to go perfectly.
Nonetheless, here are the final 20 fundamental questions which you need to be comfortable asking during the early stages of the sales process, if you want to master the art of selling. They're part of what I call "Lewis' Essential 44" -- or 44 questions you should consider asking during a sales call.
Responding to questions and objections
25. I'm glad you brought that up, but why is it important to you?
26. Good question. You must be asking that for a reason?
27. Suppose I said (blank), what would you say?
28. I'm not sure I fully understand; could you help me?
Uncovering a prospect's budget
29. Do you have a budget for this?
30. Would you mind sharing it with me in round numbers?
31. Now that you know how much it is going to cost you in terms of time and money, are you still committed to moving forward?
Uncovering the decision process
32. What is the process you go through when making these kinds of decisions?
33. Who, in addition to yourself, is involved in making the decision to buy?
34. You mean you don't get any help, from a president or a committee?
35. When do you see yourselves making this decision?
36. Why is that date important?
37. If I were to present a solution to the problems we've discussed in a manner that is consistent with how you make decisions, at an investment that is consistent with your budget, is there any reason why you couldn't tell me yes or no when I make my presentation?
38. On a scale from one to 10, with 10 indicating that you are ready to buy and one indicating that you have no interest in our help, where do you stand?
39. What do you need to see or hear to get to 10?
40. What would you like me to do now?
Confirming the sale
41. What is the one thing that could kill this deal?
42. When the competition finds out that you have given us your business, what do you think it's going to do? How are you going to handle this?
43. How often should we meet to discuss our business relationship so that I can ensure that we are meeting your expectations?
When the day comes where we have met or exceeded your expectations, I would like to be able to ask you for your help in meeting other people like yourself who might also benefit from our services. Would you be comfortable with this? Larry Lewis is president of Total Development Inc., a Pittsburgh-based consulting firm specializing in sales development and training. Send him your comments and questions via fax to (724) 933-9224 or visit his Web site at totaldevelopment.com. Reach him by phone at (724) 933-9110.