I was working with a client the other day listening to one of their rep’s qualifying call, and when the rep presented the cost of the product and asked if that fit within the prospect’s budget, the prospect gave an interesting answer. She said: “Well maybe, but it depends. I’ll have to first see if what you have will work well enough for us to make the switch.”
In the call I was reviewing, the rep then said they should schedule a demo of the product and that during that demo the prospect would learn about how it worked and would then be able to decide. Is that what you would do?
Pitching this prospect without having a specific idea of what exactly they are looking for could prove to be a big waste of time. Think about it: why would you want to spend an hour going over a demo wondering (or hoping) that what you said was enough to make them switch? And this leads to the only qualifying question you may need.
The right thing to say here was: “And what specifically would you need to see to determine whether it would be worth switching or not?”
This question (and the other examples below) is the one question that will get your prospect to reveal what their precise buying motive is. And until you understand exactly what it is going to take to earn their business, you’re pitching blind. And this is how most sales reps operate. Many sales reps think the most important thing they can do is get prospects into their pipeline so they can demonstrate their product or service. They think that if they can do enough demos, then they will eventually make more sales.
Smart sales reps – the Top 20% -- think much differently. The Top 20% want to know as much as possible in advance of the demo so they can tailor their presentation to the precise buying motives of each prospect. And to do this, they have to ask the qualifying questions which will encourage a prospect to reveal what those buying motives are. The above question is specific to what this prospect said to the rep, but below are some other, more general, questions that will achieve the same goal as well. Find ones that feel comfortable for you to use and then practice, drill and rehearse until they become natural for you:
Qualifying question #1:
“So ________, what specifically would you need to see in our demo next week that would convince you this would be a good fit for you?”
Qualifying question #2:
“And let me ask you this: What specifically would you like me to concentrate on during our presentation next week?”
Qualifying question #3:
“Tell me _________, what area are you most interested in that I can address in detail during our presentation next week?”
Qualifying question #4:
“_________, what is the one thing that you’re hoping this (your product or service) can do for you and your company?”
Qualifying question #5:
“And what would you need to see in the demo next week that would convince you to move forward with this?”
Qualifying question #6:
“Just out of curiosity, what are three main things this (product or service) must do for you before you would decide to go with it?”
Qualifying question #7:
“________ tell me, what one thing could you absolutely not live without – in other words, what must I be able to show you during the demo for you to be able to decide this could actually work for you?”
Qualifying question #8:
“What specifically are you hoping this will be able to do for you?”
Qualifying question #9:
“_________, specifically, what is the one problem you’re having that you hope this can fix for you?”
Qualifying question #10:
“And last, _________, what are you going to be looking to learn more about during our presentation next week?”
As you can see, once you find out exactly what your prospect is looking for, then you’ll be able tailor your presentation to give that to them. Doing this will catapult you into the Top 20% of producers in your company!