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Sales Consulting & Sales Training:

Preparing Your Arsenal of Questions

Throughout all of our sales training materials, we advocate the effective use of questioning to be able to sell effectively. Questions can enable you to uncover customer situations, priorities, difficulties, decision-making processes and a whole host of other issues. Questions can be used throughout various stages of the sales cycle. Whatever you do, before you set foot in a client’s door, be sure to have your arsenal of questions ready to be used. 

As a supplement to what we’ve already talked about in other sections, here is a small (really) sampling of questions you can use when you are in the field.  Be sure to look at this partial list as the tip of the iceberg.  You’ll need to create questions that apply to your industry and products.  Some of these questions may not apply so create your own.  The exercise can be done before the start of the sales day, after work or when you’re “thinking”.  No matter when you decide to do it, just do it.

·          How has business been this month/quarter/year?

·          Has the company’s budget been approved?

·          Are cost controls still in effect?

·          What are your top priorities this month/quarter/year?

·          What issues are of the most concern to your team?

·          Are there any new strategic initiatives being pushed by the company?

·          What goals have you set for your team?

·          What are your biggest challenges?

·          Is there an obstacle keeping you from reaching those goals?

·          What type of budget have you set aside for such a project?

·          What are your most important requirements?

·          Are there any areas that you would like but aren’t as critical to success?

·          What if you have to wait for that product/service?

·          How will that affect your team’s productivity/profitability/image?

·          Who else is involved in the decision-making process?

·          When do you think you’ll make a decision?

·          What factors are you consider?

·          What other products are you reviewing?

·          Are you considering any alternatives?

·          What happens if the purchase has to be delayed?

·          How will that affect your team?

·          How do you define success?

·          What are you looking for in this area?

·          What type of support will you need?

·          How concerned are you about costs after the purchase?

·          Have you had experience with this product/service before?

·          Are there any issues that might cause you to choose another solution?

·          What do you look for in a relationship?

·          How do you make your decisions?

·          What type of supporting documentation will you require?

·          Are referrals important to you?

·          How is your organization structured?

·          What are you doing now to deal with the issue?

·          What will the result be if you do nothing?

·          What are your targets?

·          How do you achieve those targets?

·          How do you propose to do that?

·          If you could write the ideal proposal, what would it be?

·          How important is quality?

·          How important is price?

·          How important is reputation?

·          How important is shipping?

·          What do you value the most? 

Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Come up with questions specific to situations, client types, products, services, etc.  The more ammunition you have, the better equipped you’ll be to go after a sale.

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