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What questions do you ask as part of your questioning strategy to sell to your prospects? You might not realize it, but you have to be ready with the right questions in your sales process. With the right questions you get answers that help you prioritize your prospects.

If you read any of my work, you know that I subscribe to a process for asking questions. The consultive selling process is A, B, C, and D. A are the About questions, B are the Bad questions, C are the Consequence questions, and D are the Desire questions.

Let’s look closer at the About questions you ask. All About questions are not created equally. I’m always looking to create lazy salespeople. Sorry, but this means you do the least and get the most, not start at 10 a.m. and knock off at noon.

Your About questions should tell you whether you have a viable prospect as early in the sales process as possible.

It costs less to send an email than to make a phone call. The phone call is less expensive than a face-to-face sales call. How you choose to spend your time contributes to your sales success because you don’t want to waste your valuable selling time on prospects less likely to buy.

So find the viable prospects quickly.

Most companies have Web marketing strategies today to drive leads. What questions can you ask on your website to characterize the viability of your prospects who land on your website?

For example, you could ask how the customer is going to make a buying decision and include an option for “demonstrating value is important to me,” where presumably a price shopper would not select that. A prospect who is a price shopper becomes a lower priority for you.

Be sure to ask a few About questions on the Web. Over time you will learn which About questions lead you to the best prospects for your business. Your sales process might be designed to drive Web prospects to contact you on the telephone.

Have your About questions ready to ask on the telephone to further identify the priority of your prospect. What About questions can you learn on the telephone to determine if you want to meet face-to-face? Perhaps it’s “How did you learn about our company?” Or, “What caused you to contact us now?” That answer would uncover their urgency in making a buying decision.

When you ask the right About questions you will quickly learn which prospects you should spend time with. Serve the lower probability prospects in a less time-consuming way and you can become a lazy salesperson.

About Maura Schreier-Fleming

Maura Schreier-Fleming is president of Best@Selling, a sales training and sales consulting company. She works with business and sales professionals to increase sales and earn larger profits. She is the author of Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results and Monday Morning Sales Tips. Maura focuses on sales strategies and tactics that lead to better sales results. Maura is a sales expert for WomenSalesPros. She is part of their group of top sales experts who inspire, educate, and develop salespeople and sales teams.She speaks internationally on influence, selling skills, and strategic selling at trade association and sales meetings, demonstrating how her principles can be applied to get results. She successfully worked for over 20 years in the male-dominated oil industry with two major corporations, beginning at Mobil Oil and ending at Chevron Corp. She was Mobil Oil’s first female lubrication engineer in the U.S. and was one of Chevron’s top five salespeople in the U.S. having sold over $9 million annually. Maura writes several columns to share her sales philosophies. She's been quoted in the New York Times, Selling Power, and Entrepreneur.


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