Have you ever found yourself on the phone with a prospect, but are unsure how to proceed and progress towards transforming them from a prospect into a client (or partner — see another post on that)?
It can seem a very difficult and precarious few moments, as you’re concerned about saying the wrong thing and putting them off entirely. But asking 3 certain questions in sequence can propel you massively towards winning the business.
Before I reveal the questions, the reason they work so well is because they focus on the prospect. Times have changed, and the old ways of selling yourself or your business by talking about just you have long gone.
Instead, by focusing on the prospect and understanding them, they’ll feel much more important and in charge — and thus more likely to ultimately buy from you.
Onto the questions…
Early in your conversation you want to pop this question. You’ll notice it’s clearly focusing on the prospect. By asking this question, the prospect will open up to you and reveal exactly what matters to them most right now.
Let them speak for as long as it takes for them to reveal this, and if they struggle you can usually detect where they’re going and prod them to reveal more.
This question positions you to ask the next, and also mentally positions the prospect to really think about what matters to them at that very moment — which is very important to get the win!
After acknowledging and confirming what the prospect has just said regarding their hot priorities, you should then go on to ask this.
Again it’s positioned to be about the prospect, and is great as it allows them to really think about what you can do for them. By getting them to answer this, they start actually selling you to themselves, without you having to say a thing.
If the prospect is fairly cold and unaware of what you offer, they may ask you some returning questions to find out more. You want to reveal how you can help but in short sharp bursts, leaving the prospect to then follow up on these and realise in their own head that you may be good for them.
When the prospect has covered how they think you could help them, and again you acknowledge this — you should ask this final question. This is where you take over more, and propose the next steps towards you helping them.
Maybe it’s offering to tell them more about what you do in detail over the phone right now, send over more information via email, a link to a webinar etc. The key is locking in the next steps, which because of the conversation you’ve juts had, the prospect will almost be guaranteed to be receptive of.
They’ve already realised and accepted you can probably help them in their mind because of the questions you’ve asked and made them think about.
You can then proceed towards the sale which may take further calls, more time etc. depending on what you offer, but ultimately you’ll be more likely to be successful in acquiring the business.
To a recap, these questions work because;
- You focus on the prospect, their needs and priorities
- You position them to think about how you can help them, without having you tell them in a typical low conversation rate sales call
- And, next steps are much easier because they’ve basically sold you to themselves!