Questions hold the answers. Ask the right questions at the right time and you can save time, help customers quicker and sell more. Remember the golden rule “Whoever asks the question controls the conversation.”
How soon do questions fit into your sales process?
If you want to turn your sales funnel into more of a pipeline, start the questions with the first person who answers the phone. There are 5 key questions that must be asked. Train your front line well and they can unlock the door to highly qualified leads.
There are dozens of sales question acronyms to help sales people remember to ask all the important questions: BANT; PICS; ANUM FAINT; SPIN; NEADSSS and so many more. I like to call these early questions QQ’s - Qualifying Questions.
One we have found useful to ask on the front lines is MANTC/S:
Money - The budget question: “How much has been allocated for this project?” You need to know this to ensure you offer something that is within budget or you need to re-educate them on how much they need to invest to achieve the solution they are looking for.
Authority - The decision maker question. “Who else, other than yourself, will be involved in the decision-making process?” and/or, “What is the decision-making process for this organisation?” It is a rookie mistake to skip this question and go through the whole process only to be told, “I need to ask my boss/the board.” Always make sure you are dealing with the decision maker.
Need - What outcome are they aiming to achieve? This is where the bulk of your questioning occurs and deserves a whole section. You are there to serve and to do this well you need to know what your client wants and needs.
Timing - How soon will they make a decision? When do they want to start? How soon will they pay you? The timing questions are often at the heart of the perceived service the client receives. Clearly ascertain what the client wants, and then align and set clear expectations for the outset of how you will deliver.
Competition - Are you just a third quote? Learn to ask if you are up against someone else (preferably without educating them that there is other competition) “Have you seen something you like?” the answer could be “Yes, in a magazine” or “Yes, in the competitor's store.”
Stock is sometimes asked rather than competition. “Will they hold stock of your product?” Are they asking to buy a stock line? Is the stock available?
All these questions help to further qualify a client and help your sales funnel become more efficient. If you could do with help creating more of a pipeline, do get in touch.