Incorporating good sales questions is one of the best ways in improving your sales results. The following are five questions that can reveal valuable information.

1. Why have you made the choice to meet with us?

Being salespeople, we always know the reason we want to meet with qualified prospects which is we want to help them as well as hopefully sell our products and services to them. Why does the prospect have the need or desire to meet with us? The prospect is most likely busy and has a lot of other things to do instead of using their valuable time to meet with us. So, the question is, why have they taken valuable time from their full schedule to meet with us?

It is possible we could guess why the prospect would want to meet with us, but by asking the prospect this question and them answering in their own words, it can reveal some key valuable information. Be sure to use some finesse when asking sales questions. A good example of what to say is, “I know the reason we’re very interested in meeting with you. Can you help us in understanding why you were interested in meeting with us?”

2. What’s the impact of you doing nothing?

What happens if the prospect does nothing is one of the open sales questions to ask. The biggest competitor we’re faced with is the option to do nothing and the status quo. As you’re attempting to qualify prospects, it is important to understand what things will look like if they do nothing.

Very important information will be revealed if we ask the prospect what happens if they stay in their current state, do nothing, and don’t purchase from us or anybody else. When no major impact or downside exists from doing nothing, there’s a high chance the prospect isn’t completely qualified because there’s no true need to move forward.

3. Is there a deadline for when you need to do this?

It is helpful to understand when the prospect needs what you’re offering if they truly need it. Is there a need for them to purchase and start using the product or service by a certain date? If there is a deadline, the date becomes a compelling event and makes them a qualified prospect. We’ll obtain valuable information which can be used in qualifying the prospect initially and then be used as a guide for the pace we use in managing the sales cycle when asking open sales questions like this.

4. Who else are you talking to?

It’s simple for us to hope we’re the only vendor the prospect is talking to. As a result, we end up avoiding the subject of competitors, either because we don’t want to hear bad news or don’t want to give the prospect any ideas. In reality, it’s extremely helpful to know if the prospect is, in fact, talking to other vendors, how far along they are in the process with them and how they currently feel about them.

It is understandable that this is typically an uncomfortable area to discuss.  By just asking open sales questions such as this in a direct way, we often get the prospect to share valuable information.

5. What would you like the next step to be?

It is understood that every salesperson has the desire to improve their closing ratios and get prospects to move forward quickly. Although, a very powerful way to go when the time presents itself to encourage the prospect to move forward is to ask them what they prefer to do next. In allowing the prospect to lead with open sales questions like this, we’ll know the prospect is on the same page as well as that the next step is in line with what their needs are.

SalesScripter s provides cold calling coaching helping sales pros to ask good sales questions.