When talking with prospects and trying to qualify them, be sure to find out about the following topics:
Their business motivation: “Of all the direct mail you received, all the ads you read, all the websites you visited, all the exhibits at the show, how did you decide to respond to ours?”
Their preferences: “What have you seen or experienced elsewhere — other products, other companies — that you didn’t like?”
Their politics: “As you consider us for this project\purchase, who will support you? Who will oppose you? How come?”
The importance: “If we were having this conversation in the big offices, what would be their level of interest?” or “… how much attention would they be paying?”
The likelihood of the sale going through: “Historically in tough economic times, what kinds of initiatives or projects have been postponed or cancelled, and which ones are most likely to move forward?”
The next step: “If you like what you hear and see from me, what happens next?”
Be sure that your phone reps:
n Conduct conversations, not interrogations.
n Ask these questions in context.
n Ask thoughtful follow-on questions based on the prospect’s real, live responses, not on the next data field on the rep’s computer.
Michael A. Brown is The Business to Business By Phone® Expert. Contact him in Austin, Texas, at 1-800-373-3966. Ask for your complimentary Business to Business By Phone® newsletter!