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The most important question your salespeople can ask any prospect

good question important b2b sales

by Marguerite Zimmerman

The most important question your salespeople can ask any prospect

Any salesperson knows their job is to help the buyer make a decision; in other words, to help guide the buyer to an informed ‘yes’ or ‘no’. However, sales calls can be limited by time, patience and a lack of understanding of the client’s needs.

To mitigate this we have been taught to ask informational questions: When are you looking to make your decision? What is leading you to buy from us? What units are you looking at purchasing? While those information questions may fill gaps of knowledge for you, the seller, how do those questions assist the buyer in their purchasing decision?

As you are seeking information, the buyer is trying to determine if your product or service addresses their needs. What that really means is “How can they help me address my problem”.

What is required from the seller are provocative questions. Questions that take you inside the problems of the buyer and give you an understanding of what they need in the product, not why they need the product.

Here is a simple B2C example of someone buying a laptop:

Information Q: What kind of computer are you looking for today?
Response: I need a new laptop that I’ll be using for work.

Provocative Question: What was the biggest problem you had with your most recent computer?
Response: Before it died I found that it was too heavy and too slow. I’m looking for a laptop that travels well and can handle the advanced software I’ll be running on it.

The difference in the second question is the seller can help guide the buyer to the laptop they need based on the value received by asking provocative questions.

Not only is the buyer more engaged, but time is saved as the conversation is guided to the buyer’s problem and how the seller can solve it. When asked at the right time, provocative questions can be the most essential questions in a sales call helping you guide the buyer to an easier yes or no.

Are these the kind of value creating questions your salespeople are asking in their sales meetings? What provocative questions can you encourage them to substitute into their sales calls?

About Marguerite
Marguerite Zimmerman is CEO of E=mz2 Inc. & Founder of Momentium. Her career has been dedicated to helping sales forces maximize their performance.
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good question important b2b sales
The most important question your salespeople can ask any prospect