Why Ask Questions?

It is important to ask great questions on a telephone sales call to build rapport early. That way  you find out people’s needs before you start telling them what you have to offer.  Ideally they should begin with What, Why, Where, When, How, Which and Who so that the customer has to expand on what they want and they cannot answer “no”. They should create pain with the customer or give them pleasure because those are the two reasons people want your services.

1. How are you is not a good question

I never recommend you start off with “How are you?” on a cold prospecting call. Prospects are already thinking “Iif you don’t know me, why would you care how I am?” It is a sure clue that this is a telemarketing call and resistance from the prospect is immediate.  I suggest you be professional and not ask the question at all unless you know them.

2. The motivation Questions

Always remember you are looking for their hot button – what is their motivation to buy?Avoid asking “What are your needs at the moment?” (You should know!) Think of one thing they might need and ask them about it.  For example, “How much training have you done with your salespeople this year?” “What strategies do you have in place for keeping your staff?” If you save people time, ask a question around this benefit that then creates pain – ask “How much time are you spending on …”. If you save them money, ask “How much is it costing you to clean your offices at the moment?”

3. The 3-Benefit Question

Try the 3-benefit question:  For example, “Many of our customers come back to us because they enjoy our prompt delivery, great quality and fantastic service. Which of those 3 things would be most important to you when choosing a supplier?”

4. Go Deeper with your Questions

When they answer, ask a question related to that and go deeper. For example, when they say “Prompt delivery”, say, “What makes you say that? Have you had a bad experience with late deliveries?”  I hear a lot of telemarketers get a good clue about what the customer is not happy with in regard to their current supplier and the telemarketer then goes on to a totally different topic in their questioning process. They would have much more success if they went deeper into the pain around the first problem mentioned. It also makes it sound like the telemarketer was not really listening and customers love you to repeat what they said to show you are listening.

5. The Proposal Question

When you send out a proposal, ask them “Before I send this proposal, may I ask what are the top three considerations you will use to make your final decision?” or “Last time you chose a supplier in this area, what were the determining factors? and “What amount of budget would you have set aside for this?”  You must know what ball game you are in here – exactly what amount the prospect is looking to pay and what their buying criteria is.

6. The Sample Question

When you send out a sample, always ask “What criteria will you use to evaluate it?’

7. The Clarification question

To clarify what they really need, use opposing choices when questioning to understand what they really want. “Are you looking for an older person who is more experienced or a younger one who is keen to learn the industry?

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