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Sales Training - How to ask more prospecting questions. Drill baby, drill.


Most sales people don’t ask enough questions.  They make the mistake of talking at their prospect. They think they will beat them into submission so they won’t have to hear “no.”

Good sales people have their questions either written down in a CRM system in front of them, or have those questions memorized.  Great sales people know how to ask follow up questions that leave no doubt about what their prospect said and what action items need to be completed to get the sale closed.

An example; David has just finished a demo for a large company.  The three participants on the call all seemed very impressed.  David begins:

“Did I cover everything you needed to see today to go with Sales Getters?”  

“Yes David, I think so.”   Hearing this David keeps drilling.

“So Amanda, how are decisions to purchase products like ours made at Widgetmaker?”

“Well, we meet as a committee and then we blah, blah, blah.”

“I see.  And then what happens?” David starts to drill.

“Then we pass it to blah, blah, blah, so they can do whatever they do with our recommendation.”

Undeterred, David continues drilling.  “And how do they handle it?”

Hopefully, you get the idea.  You need to keep asking questions until you know exactly how your product gets approved and purchased.  The earlier you ask these questions and understand your customer’s buying process, the sooner you will know how real your opportunity is and who you need to speak with to make sure the your deal flows smoothly.

Note:  I am not saying you have to get every answer you need to close the sale on the very first call.  However, this drill-down questioning needs to take place on each call, leaving nothing ambiguous, with the result getting you to the next phase of the customer’s buying cycle.

Sales Homework – Pick three opportunities from your pipeline where you do not know how your order will flow to you.  Call your top contact there and start with the question, “James, I’m putting together our success strategy for when you become a customer. Can I ask you a few questions?”  Until they have laid out the complete roadmap, drill baby drill.

Sales Managers – Listen and record these calls for future training sessions.  You should be able to ask your sales reps about each deal where you are at least 50% of the way home and see the path your orders will take.    Read more...


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