The best sales information is securely locked in our customer's or prospect's head. They have their own reasons for buying our product or services. As sales people our job is to discover and understand these reasons. It helps to shift our sales approach from product focus to customer focus.
Here are 52 questions, in no particular order, that can be used to uncover needs and wants:
How can I help you today? (assuming they asked for the meeting)
(When booked by you) Thanks for agreeing to meet today. I suggest we find out about our companies and see how we can benefit from a relationship. Is that ok?
What would you see as the best possible outcome?
Can you tell me more about your role at the company?
Why do customers buy your products?
What is different about your organisation?
Where does our product/service fit with your role?
What goals are you responsible for?
What are your key business priorities this year?
Why are these the key priorities ?
Can you walk me through the process as it looks today?
What do you feel is the most critical stage in that process?
What problems are you trying to solve?
What do you think is causing the challenges ?
How are customers affected by the issue at the moment?
How are staff affected by the issue?
Why are you looking at solving this problem now?
Why has the business not been able to do anything about that problem before now?
What are the knock-on effects if you don’t solve this problem?
How do these knock-on effects impact you personally?
What would it mean for you personally if you managed to solve these problems?
In an ideal world, what would you want to be doing?
What other solutions or products have you looked at?
What did you like about those other solutions?
What did you feel those other solutions were missing?
What would you say is a ‘must-have’ in a solution?
How do you feel your team would respond to this solution?
What does success look like in the first 6 months/year?
If I could demonstrate how we could help you address this challenge, how much of a favourable position would that put us in?
If you don’t go ahead with implementing a solution like ours, is ‘doing nothing’ a feasible solution?
On a priority list, where would this be positioned ?
What does the decision making process look like when buying solutions like this?
Who else is this important to?
Who would be the person who signs the requisition?
What concerns do you feel the person who signs the order form would have about this?
Would it make sense to involve the person who signs the order form in our conversations?
Who else would find it useful to be part of our conversations?
How will this solution be funded?
Is there a budget for this?
Do you have the final say on spending that budget?
Other than price, what will be the main criteria in making a decision?
You mentioned you weren’t having a good experience with your current provider. What do you hope we will do differently should we work together?
If you didn’t feel we were the right solution for you, are you happy to be transparent and tell me?
When would you want to make a decision by?
When does the business need to have a solution in place?
Would you see a proof of concept or perhaps a trial appropriate?
What do you foresee as the potential blockades and hurdles we will face along the way in partnering with you?
How can we anticipate these from your perspective?
Is this decision a local one or does it need a national approval?
What do you see as the next steps?
Would you mind if a recapped our conversation so far?
Do we need to include anyone else at this stage?
If you do not see the relevance of certain questions, that is fine. Feel free to get in touch for more information and how I might be able to help your sales team with asking questions.