The questions a salesperson asks during a prospecting process should provide insights regarding the prospect’s attitude and willingness to make a change from one supplier to another. For example:
- In terms of time, money, and risk, what business problems will working with us solve for you? (the prospect self-selects financial, structural, or security concerns that he views as liabilities).
- How will you measure our success 60 days after we start working together? (reveals the prospect’s sense of accountability and performance for himself as well as the new supplier)
- How much “better” does our “better” have to be in order for you to work with us? (the prospect will define performance standards as well as dissatisfactions with the current supplier)
- How soon does (insert a problem) need to show improvement for you to feel that our work together is successful? (prospect’s level of urgency and focus is apparent)
- What process will you follow in bringing us on as your provider? (the prospect’s process management and intent are illustrated).
The most important questions that a salesperson can ask a prospect are designed to answer one question: When adding a new supplier, what are the qualities they always must have and what are the things that are never acceptable? A salesperson can’t decide if the opportunity is valid until he has an answer.