Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pre-Qualifying and Probing Questions for Sales

Ask most telemarketers (and managers) what the true definition of a qualified lead is and they won’t be able to tell you.

Ask the top closers what makes up a qualified lead and they’ll tell you they need to ask pre-qualifying and probing questions before they send out information or go into the close. And they use a qualifying checklist to make sure they get this information.

Information that needs to be on your Qualifying Checklist:
  1. Why will they buy?
  2. Why they won’t buy?
  3. Who makes the decision?
  4. What is involved in the decision process?
  5. What is your competition?
  6. What is the budget?

If you want to know how qualified any of your current leads are or where you need improvement, just ask yourself which of these things is missing from your leads now.

Here’s what each of these qualifiers means, and here are specific questions you can use to find them out:

Buying Motives (Needs and Wants)
What is this client looking for?
What are their buying motivations?
What do you need to say to get them to buy?
What is important to them?
What would they like to change this time?
If they could get what they want, what would that look like?

Sample Questions to Reveal Buying Motives
  • "Bob, what are you hoping to accomplish with this?”
  • "What is most important to you when choosing a vendor/company for this?”
  • "If you could get everything you want from this (service/product/solution), what would that be?”
  • “Why did you get the (service/product/solution) you got last time?”
  • “What would it take for you to choose our company for this?” 

Why Won’t They Buy? (Potential Objections)
Why are they getting another quote?
What are some of their sore spots?
What are they trying to avoid?
Why didn’t they buy last time?
What would they like to change this time?
Why are they looking at different companies?
What are some of their potential objections?
Why won’t they buy?

Sample Questions to Reveal Potential Objections
  • “Who do you usually get this (service/product/solution) from?"
  • “Are you going to get a quote from them as well?"
  • “Why are you considering using a different (vendor/company/provider) this time?"
  • “What other solutions are you looking at?”
  • “I see you looked at our company before, what kept you from going with us?”

Who’s The Decision Maker?
Who's the decision maker?
How many of them?
Who do they consult with on this?
How much influence do they have?

Sample Questions to Find the Decision Maker
  • "Bob, who will you be making this decision with?”
  • “Besides yourself, who else will be weighing in on this decision?”
  • “Bob, who has the final say on this?”

What's Involved In The Decision Process?
What the decision process is like?
What’s involved?
Who’s involved?
What happens next?
How long does it take?
How many other steps are involved?

Sample Questions to Uncover the Decision Process
  • “Bob, after we submit the (bid/proposal/send the information), what happens next?”
  • “How long does this process take?”
  • “Who’s involved in that?”
  • “When would you like to see a decision made on this?”

What's Your Competition?
How many other companies are they looking at?
Is the company they’re using now still involved?
How many bids are they getting?
Who do they like best so far?
What would they like to improve upon?

Sample Questions to Discover Your Competition
  • “Who else are you looking at for this?”
  • “What do you think so far?”
  • “Might you use the same company (providing the current service) again?”
  • “Who are you leaning towards so far?”

What’s The Budget?
It’s always about the money!
What is their budget for this?
What did they spend last time?
What is their limit?
What would they feel comfortable spending?
Is your product or solution within their budget?

Sample Questions to Uncover Budget
  • “What is your budget for this?”
  • “What did you spend last time on this?”
  • “If we could provide a solution you were comfortable on this, could you afford xx amount?”
  • “What is a ball park range you’re looking to stay within on this?”

Bottom Line: I think you’d agree that the more of this information you get, the more qualified your leads are going to be. And that the less information you have is directly related to how unqualified your prospect is. Important point: Buyers will give you this information, whereas non-buyers won’t!


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