I’ve made a lot of mistakes so far in my sales career. It’s part of the learning curve. Without mistakes, there is no room for growth. Recognizing them and working to fix them is what makes them worthwhile. One of the biggest errors I have made and continue to make is assuming that when someone tells you, they are interested or ready to move forward, they are actually going to close.
It is exciting when someone finally expresses interest in what you are offering them. More times than not I have taken this excitement and become too optimistic about the opportunity only to have it collapse. Should I be surprised when this happens? Maybe not. If I had been asking the right questions throughout the sales process, I might have known that this contact was not the decision maker, the company didn’t have the budget for this year or any other objection that can arise. It is a good thing to be excited about new sales for the client or your own company, but it is not smart selling to avoid asking solid questions throughout the whole sales process.
We have developed a list of ten questions that we are encouraged to ask prospects who are in our sales pipelines. Some of them include:
- Who really makes the decision?
- What is the date of the next step?
- Do you have money to spend now?
- What other options are you considering?
- What can keep this deal from happening?
Using these kinds of questions can help clarify where you are in the process and keep you away from assumptions. When you think you know everything about the potential sale take a step back and think about what you are still missing to ensure success. This approach is something I continue to work on, and I hope you will think about it next time you’re on the phone with a prospect.
If this sales content resonates with you, check out these listen to the following video content by Jordan Weiss: Simplifying My Marketing Message to Prospects and Maintaining a Positive Attitude in Sales