I have noted a common question coming my way from several new b2b sales people – all asking about what questions should they use with their potential customers?
Now the truth is you will need to prepare for each and every visit you make with a potential customer. Prepare your list of questions using information you find on the Internet, talking to other people in the organization, reviewing current industry trends, visit with other b2b sales people who sell into the industry and think about your experiences with other companies with similar focus.
Use all the information you can to narrow down the list of questions to be used. In fact, another tip is to create boxes of questions based upon different possibilities or themes relative to what you are selling.
Okay, here is the list of “safe” questions you can apply in most any situation – customer type, industry and product or services you sell…
- What kind of budget range do you have for this type of project?
- What if anything, would you like to see from a company like ours that you have not found to date?
- What do you like most about your current supplier?
- What would you want to change with your current supplier if you knew you could get it?
- What are some of the major challenges or changes you have seen in the past year?
- What impact has this challenge or change had on your profitability, morale, or market share?
- What kind of time frame are you thinking about regarding project – start and finish?
- What idea have you found interesting relative to bringing into your company/department/division?
- What do you feel is the best process to use in making a decision for this type of project?
- Who else, other than you of course, will be involved in or impacted by this decision?
- What in your opinion is totally off limits and will not be changed with this decision?
- If you could change any thing in your current environment, what would you want to change?
- What is the single most important change needed in this process or project?
- In an ideal world, share with me exactly what the company, plant, production line, etc. would look like in a couple of years? (Looking for the vision statement here – critical information.)
- If this were to happen, how would this impact your organization? …and you personally?
Fifteen safe questions you can use to get started in any b2b sales opportunity. If you are using the Questioning Model for Selling, you are on the right track. If you are only into sales presentations and telling your story, well, I wish you luck in the future.
Modern times call for modern b2b sales people. Use these questions to get started, then develop and use your own questions for even more impact.