How To Ask Right Questions to Prospects Effectively

We discussed about doing research on your prospects and asking the right questions when you phone your prospects. Timing is an important matter when the sales person wants to approach prospects. However, if you manage to approach your prospects at the right time but you are unable to produce the right questions, all your preparation is inefficient. Especially, when you call your prospects, the clock is ticking, and every question you ask them will count.

Asking the right questions in the right way requires techniques and strategy. Here are some tips we would like to share with you for asking the effective questions in an effective way.

1. Keep questions simple

Whether it’s a phone call or a face-to-face first meeting, you should keep your questions simple. Don’t use convoluted or two-part questions. Long, complex questions make your prospects confused and unable to give right answers. When you ask two-part questions, the prospects may only answer the latest part question or the part that they’re mostly interested in. Or worse, their answers will be totally irrelevant to your questions. Ask straightforward questions that target one topic at a time.

2. Be flexible. Ask based on previous responses.

Don’t be a robot by using all the questions on the list regardless of the content of your prospects’ responses. Keep your prospects interested by building your questions with your keywords and prospects responses. This technique will lead to make your prospects feel like you’re really listening to their problems.

3. Balance your open-ended questions and closed questions

A closed question is one that expects a yes or no answer, for instance: “Am I correct that you’re the person who is in charge of this case etc.?” In meanwhile, an open-ended question is more about WH questions, for example: “As the manager, what do you do when…?” Try to balance the number of opened-end questions and closed questions. If your prospect is so busy, don’t ask too many open-ended questions, and more used yes/no questions instead.

4. Choose questions based on objectives

Different questions serve different objectives. Therefore, you should determine the objectives of your call, then choose the right type of questions you need to ask.

There are three main types of questions you normally ask your prospects.
Information gathering: The questions under this category are to add more information about your prospects to your research homework. Although you do research about your prospects, it’s always advisable to ask these questions directly to prospects to know better about prospects.
Example: What are your expectations or requirements for this product/ service?
What are the features that you liked?

Qualifying questions: These questions will have you know more about various factors affecting your prospects’ decision-making process.
Example: Have you had budget for this?
What is your timeline for purchasing this kind of product?
What are your priorities to consider when purchasing this kind of product?

Trust-building questions: These questions are also important. They are used as backbones to build trust with your prospects. These questions are to show the prospect that you’re genuinely concerned about their problems and needs. You’re approaching your prospect to help, not to make a sale.
Example: What would you like to get improved now?
How has the recent market trends been affecting your company?
How long has your company been involved in this market etc.?

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With years of working as a Marketer and Copywriter, I have worked extensively in a number of projects for corporate and start-up companies in Asia Pacific, and North America.
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