7 Questions to the Goal Post

If 50% of sales success is just showing up, as some have suggested to me, the critical path to close is asking the right questions and then listening. Here are 7 questions that will help you along the critical path. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, only a helpful jumpstart.

What triggered your interest now? – Something has changed if they sought you out. What is it? Current provider raise the rate? New personnel wants to bring in their own selection? New competitor in their hair and now they need to amp up their game?
If you initiated the contact, rather than the customer, you need to be even more diligent to qualify the lead, or risk wasting your time. Some people simply want to price shop. Don’t enable.

What keeps you from a YES today? Often, a no is merely, not now. It’s not budget season (when is?); or we are already on a contract(when does it expire?); I’m about to be out on medical leave and don’t want any change right now (when can I contact you again?); my staff isn’t able to learn anything new right now, etc. etc. etc.

Who else uses this solution? – Find other people that influence the decision and would benefit from your offering and get to them.

Who else is involved in this decision? – Involve all decision makers in the process.

What could your current provider do to increase your happiness with them? – People hate change. They love to say they’re happy with their current provider. That might translate to “I’m not in enough pain to make a change.” But every supplier can do better/be better or provide greater value. You just need to find the definition of “value” to each customer.

How can I mitigate any risk caused by a change? – The world is ever more risk-adverse. Risk and soft economy are bad bedfellows.

What is your average cost per sale and profit margin? – This formula enables you to calculate the ROI quotient of your offering, so from here, you either price or divest. If you can ask this question and get an honest answer, you have become a trusted advisor to this customer. And then, you are only limited by what you pursue.

Follow this road map and please let me know your results.

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About Melanie M. Morris
Broker of Trust and Authenticity I'm really a sales executive, but I'd rather identify with these ideals rather than to simply say...I'm a seller.

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