Qualified leads have always been the best way to prospect for new business. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can use qualifying questions to gauge your current prospects.
A sharp and smart sales and marketing person knows how to ask qualifying questions that will reveal the situation and pain points of a business or person. Knowing their issues will allow you to also identify what they truly need in order to address the problem. Armed with this knowledge, you can make better sales presentations.
Here are some of the most effective qualifying questions that sales and marketing people have been using for so long:
1. How can we help?
You will be surprised at how impactful this question is. Most people who need help will not volunteer the information. They tend to really wait for someone to ask them first. And being asked this question is like a light at the end of the tunnel – there is potential to get answers, the possibility of finding an actual solution.
While it may appear too vague at the beginning, it is your task to filter what you hear and make mental notes of important details. Quite often, there is a need to ask for follow up questions like:
- How long has this been going on?
- Who is responsible for this?
- What is your role in all of this?
- Who else knows about this?
- What has been done to address it?
The list of follow up questions can go on and on. It’s up to you to ask the right ones at the right time.
2. What is the biggest hurdle to your company’s growth?
Get your prospect talking about what’s pulling them down or keeping them from getting to the next level. It can be a work culture, a person, a faulty protocol, a lack of technology or a problematic one, a need for more people, training, or software applications that will make them more efficient.
Whatever revelations you get from asking this important question can help you position yourself better when making a sales pitch. It allows you to target a specific need and offer a workable solution at the same time.
3. What task mostly eats up your work hours?
This question will help you identify manageable bumps along the road. If a manual task eats up most of the time of a key person in the organization, maybe you can offer automation tools. It is also possible that a computer system in dire need of an upgrade may cause delays and hold-ups on the day-to-day tasks of an employee. Sometimes, all a company needs is an outsider to look inside and iron out some wrinkles.
You can be that person who will iron out the wrinkles. You can offer a sound solution that will allow employees within the organization to work efficiently with a little help from promising tools.
4. What is a recurring topic of discussion during your management meetings?
Mostly, it’s the pressing issues that keep on coming up during important meetings. And when people in management repeatedly talk about something consistently, it simply means they have yet to find a solution to the problem. Being able to offer this solution will be a welcome development for them.
5. Is there anything you usually complain about?
This kind of question has the potential of opening the floodgates. This often touches a sensitive spot and an employee who is given the opportunity to speak about something that makes things difficult for him would be more than willing to share. It may not necessarily be something that directly involves him, it can be a gripe about someone else in the office or practice that does not make people productive.
Whatever it is that people in the organization often complain about, it is definitely something worth looking into.
6. What is your boss mostly meticulous about?
If you cannot go straight to the higher-ups, ask other employees what concerns in the office are leaders mostly focused on. This will allow you to gauge the priorities of superiors and what they do in order to address certain issues.
7. What are your biggest challenges in the organization right now?
Challenges, when viewed as opportunities, can make you a very happy salesman. While others may find it a deterrent to growth, introduce a fresh perspective and teach them to see it as an opportunity to do something new. Asking this question might require touching on some sensitive things, but it just might be what they need in order to find a permanent solution to the problem.
If you want to find solutions and make a sell, it all starts with asking the right questions.