Last Updated Jul 20, 2009 6:22 PM EDT
Here are the 7 rules for asking great sales questions, with some quick examples:
- Rule #1: They flatter the prospect's ego without seeming smarmy. Bad: "Where you did you buy that elegant suit?" Better: "How did you learn so much about this industry so quickly?"
- Rule #2: They show respect for the prospect's unique knowledge. Bad: "What's the reporting structure of your department?" Better: "What was the thinking behind your organizational structure?"
- Rule #3: They don't sound like a question from a job interview. Bad: "Where did you work before you came here?" Better: "How have you been able to use your experience here?"
- Rule #4: They provide an opportunity for the prospect to expound. Bad: "Do you have a budget?" Better: "What's the process for securing a budget for this type of product?"
- Rule #5: They provide a change of pace from the prospect's day-to-day routine. Bad: "What are your responsibilities in the organization." Better: "What do you enjoy most about working here?"
- Rule #6: They provide a smooth launch pad into the next topic. Bad: "Are my competitors calling on you?" Better: "Can you step me through your decision-making process?"
- Rule #7: They build on something the contact just said. Bad: "Not to change the subject, but are you interested?" Better: "Based on what you've said, how can we best work together?"