How To Ask Probing Questions To Get More Sales

Asking the right questions can greatly impact your success in sales. Asking probing sales questions is especially important because these kind of questions allow you to get to the heart of the matter. Similar to discovery questions, probing questions help you unearth information that the prospect may not have thought to mention at all.

So, how do you ask the right probing sales questions? According to Sujan Patel, founder of Mailshake, it helps to pre-plan your line of questions. Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, where we share Patel’s tips for asking probing sales questions that will help you close more deals.

Lead with the right questions. Patel recommends starting the conversation strong by asking questions such as, “How did you hear about us?” or “What made you say yes to this meeting?” Always avoid easy questions that they can answer with a yes or no.

Determine your competition. Another great probing question is, “What other companies are you comparing us with?” Patel particularly likes this question because it comes off as harmless and nonchalant while also giving you critical information. When you know your competition, you can highlight their shortcomings while presenting your offering as the smartest choice.

Find out the decision maker. To keep the deal progressing, you must be sure you’re working with the right person. To do this, Patel suggests asking a question like, “Who will need to approve the final purchase?” The sooner you single out the decision maker, the smoother you can make the sales process.

Cut to the chase about their problem. Prospects don’t take time out of their day to chat with you unless there’s a reason. You can get straight to the point by asking, “What’s frustrating about your current process?” By asking this probing question, you get right to the root of the issue.

Get in front of challenges. Most sales professionals know the frustration of losing a sure-thing deal. To help prevent these unexpected downturns, look for problems right away. For example, you could ask, “Why do you think this challenge hasn’t been solved or addressed until now?” The answer to this probing question can alert you to issues like budgeting roadblocks or other hurdles.

Determine priorities. Probing questions such as “What would give you the most relief or value right now?” or “What feature feels most urgent at the moment?” can help you prioritize the prospect’s wish list. You can then customize your deal and champion the problem-solving features, says Patel.

Qualify your prospects. Nothing stalls deals faster than a bad product fit, Patel notes. To speed things up, ask probing questions like, “What other products do you currently use that must integrate with ours?” or “What does your budget look like for fixing this problem?”

Ask for the sale. Prospects aren’t serious buyers if they start backpedaling. You can sort out the serious buyers from those who are ready to move now by saying something like, “Now that I’ve answered your questions and you have a better understanding of my offering, it seems as though we’re a perfect match. What steps do we need to take to make this happen?”

Learning how to ask the right questions is critical in sales. You can begin your conversations with prospects by asking thoughtful questions that allow you to discern not only their biggest pain points but also your competitors. Once you have addressed the prospect’s questions and handled their objections, you can go for the sale.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Sujan Patel is the founder of Mailshake, a sales engagement software. He has over 15 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and others.

filed under March 2021
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