When talking to a prospect or potential client, you have to be sure of what they are saying or what they want. That’s the only way to assure them that you can provide the service or goods that they need and win them over.

Alice Jones, a journalist who writes often on business and marketing, recommends salespeople ask specific sales questions to get to know their customers’ needs. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share the eight questions Jones advises salespeople ask.

1. What is your topic of interest? Jones recommends opening every conversation with this question. It is specific and allows the client to go straight to the point. This question often opens the conversation and leads to more questions. Since it is a conversation and you are trying to understand the customer’s needs, Jones says you are likely to be able to pick out questions from what they are saying. As they answer each question that you ask, you get clarity into what they need and respond to them accordingly.

2. Why are you considering our services or products? This question is always necessary to ask, notes Jones. This question is basically another way of saying “how can we help you?” Or “what can we do for you?”

3. What goals do you want to achieve? Jones says this question is valuable when prospects over-explain or find difficulty expressing their needs. It can help get them back on track. Once you understand prospects’ goals, you can determine how to help them achieve them.

4. What situation are you dealing with? According to recent academic writing on sales processes, the goal of having a discussion like this with a potential client is to help them solve their problems. Jones says it’s important to research prospective clients before holding a sales call. If you are not sure of their situation, especially given the current global pandemic, always ask.

5. What factors are important in your purchasing decisions? Before buying, prospects must consider various factors. In many cases, these factors determine the product they purchase, where they purchase it, and when, says Jones. If you do not know these factors, it will be hard for you to determine if you are in the position to meet their needs.

6. Who are your suppliers and what made you choose them? If you are talking to a prospect, then it means that they probably have other brands that already supply them with the same or similar products or services. Now that you are trying to put yourself in that position, you have to know why they chose that brand in the first place or what attracted the supplier to them, notes Jones. After asking for the product that they are using and why they choose that particular product or brand, also ask for the positive and negative sides to the product. Their responses give you an idea of what your prospect needs.

7. What do you want to do? According to Jones, this is one of the last questions to ask. This question helps you determine how effective your pitch was and how well you discussed your offerings. After you have cleared any doubts and answered any questions, ask the prospect about their next steps. If the prospect needs more time, remember to avoid being pushy. Let them decide what they want to do, says Jones.

8. Any other thing you want to talk about? According to Jones, this question is important because you have a duty to answer all their questions and try to solve their problems. You do not want them to leave prospects with doubts or unresolved concerns.

Be sure to never assume anything when you are dealing with a potential client. Ask the eight questions above for clarity and to better understand what is on prospects’ minds.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Alice Jones is a journalist and writer at online assignment help where she provides dissertation services. Jones concentrates on such topics as business, marketing and freelance