During my tenure in Africa, I had the opportunity to build a great sales team for a CPG business from scratch. It was incumbent on me to transfer my skill sets in sales to my team and that meant accompanying them on sales calls , especially in the early days of their induction into the team and the function.
They observed and they learnt from me- and now I am sharing this with you all.
7 golden rules …7 rules for asking the right questions that deliver results…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?”