12 Most Potent Questions for B2B to Ask Customers
Search Google for “Sales Tips and Tricks” and you will get a whopping 22,400,000 hits. None of us wants to work any harder than we have to in order to get ahead, but you have to wonder: Is this fast food mentality toward learning really the best approach to such a complex relationship? Could it be that the reason sales is so hard is that buyers are fed up with the tricks sales people are trying to play on them?
Sometimes business leaders are so focused on their core competencies, they simply don’t know what they don’t know. Instead of looking for tactics, techniques and tricks to “get past the gatekeeper” or get to a “quick close” what if we put that time and energy into learning more about, and answering, these 12 key questions:
1. How does our customer really go about make big decisions?
2. What are their values; corporate and individual?
3. How do they know (or will they know) a change is required?
4. What’s keeping this change from being handled using internal resources?
5. What kind of risks do they face when dealing with changes?
6. Who stands to gain the most from this change, and how do they plan to sell it to the rest of the organization?
7. How does our customer make do today without your product or services?
8. How do they set priorities for utilizing the limited resources they have?
9. How is their business structured? (including contacts, roles and schedules)
10. What external forces or events are impacting this situation and how do they plan to control or mitigate them?
11. How will they plan for and measure the success of this change?
12. What does excellence really looks like for this customer?
Stop trying to game the system — learn to master the game instead!
When you know the answers to questions like these, you don’t need tricks. You can play fair and win, and so can your customers. In fact, participating in the discussions that get you to this level of understanding can build way more rapport and credibility than any tricks or tactics. If you make the effort to demonstrate that you are a valuable team member by helping customers manage change and arrive at their own answers faster, you will be among the first picks every time.
What are some of the key questions that you ask your customers? Is there a particular approach that works well in your industry?
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Featured image by milos milosevic via Creative Commons.