Think back to your last appointment with a prospect. How many questions did you ask?
Quite a few I bet.
How many of those questions were good, conversation-driving questions, and how many were lame sales questions that provided absolutely no value?
It’s good to occasionally reflect on your choice of questions because asking good, penetrating questions can lead to more sales. Here are three key reasons why that is.
1) Good Questions Identify The Decision Makers
Notice the “s” on the end of the phrase, “Decision Makers”?
Too often we assume that only one decision-maker has a stake in any given deal, but there can be other individuals affected by your involvement.
Asking questions helps to identify all of the stakeholders. Influencers, and decision-makers in the situation. This is important because sometimes the person with the most influence might not be who you initially think it is.
2) Good Questions Build Trust
It takes research, effort, patience, and a strong listening ability to be able to ask good, intelligent questions that drive a conversation forward and dig into what prospects really want and expect from a relationship with you.
Prospects are well-aware of this, which is why good questions often lead to an increase in trust, and trust is arguably the most important ingredient in a B2B relationship.
Truly, B2B sales start with a relationship among people, not corporations. People.
And a good way to foster that relationship is by asking quality questions.
3) Good Questions Stimulate Rich Discussion
When you first sit down with a prospect, you probably don’t have all of the answers—yet—and that’s only because you don’t have all the information. Asking thought-provoking questions brings new information to the surface that you can use to provide better value to your prospect.
A study by Forbes shows that salespeople who stimulate discussion—or even debate—with their clients are often more successful relationship builders.
Reflect on your own ability to ask good questions. They’re critical to increasing sales, and they’ll help you build solid business relationships.
What questions would you recommend asking during that first meeting with a prospect?