3 B2B Sales Questions No-One Uses Any More
So, you’re a progressive sales person, you understand the concept of asking great B2B sales questions and then listening.
And, it works, you’re doing ok.
But, do you ever wonder why some sales questions are more powerful than others?
How some sales questions push the sales process forward more quickly and others seem to cause the conversation to stagnate?
Ever thought about why ? How maybe what you could do to incorporate more of the former types of sales questions? Possibly avoiding more of the later?
3 B2B Sales Questions You Can Definitely Ditch if You’re Looking to Impress Your Prospect.
No-one uses these any more, and I’ll explain why now, so you won’t fall into the trap that anyone can slide into once they start falling asleep at the sales wheel (selling by rote!)
B2B Sales Questions to Avoid:1
What Keeps You Awake at Night?
Never ask the prospects this.
I was with an MD a few weeks ago, and up until I went in, he’d done the sales training for his team, and this was his favorite question to have his sales team ask their prospects.
In today’s sales arena, the sales person should have a fair idea of what’s troubling the decision maker before they even start.
Sales people do their research before they get to the prospect.
Now, well prepared, well researched sales professionals will use their very precious decision maker time to demonstrate value, explain how they’ve solved challenging problems, in fact this same problem, for many people in the decision makers industry.
They’ll use the time to explore impacts, challenge the buyers thinking maybe, reframe the problem and potential solutions, explore details.
One thing they won’t do is ask the buyer what’s causing him to lose sleep at night.
This question was regarded as the go-to’ question in solution selling, but with the onset of challenger selling methodology, this is no longer the case.
Historically the buyer might have been happy to be pumped for information about his business/challenges/competitors/problems/implications and all that…now, the buyer is more likely concerned with very quickly learning from you if you can help him or not and what value you bring to his business…
So, don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘the buyer’s talking and sharing so all’s good’. Instead be concerned with how much the buyer is educated, entertained and enlightened at the scope of solution you can provide, the experience you have and the credentials you can provide to prove it.
Likewise, you can also ditch:
Tell me about your industry and what’s happening now? (That’s what Google is for)
How competitive is your industry sector? (check out Frost and Sullivan, Mintel, Euromonitor, The Economist, FT, Wall Street Journal)
Instead, if you’re really looking to add value and bring an additional and unique dimension to the prospects thinking, you’ll need to get comfortable with telling the prospect three things:
- What key problems you’ve solved
- For who
- And how
So any questions you ask should be geared around driving curiosity so that the prospects response is ‘ you know, we’ve been struggling with the same thing…tell me how you did it’
B2B Sales Questions to Avoid:2
Tell me about your business?
For the same reason as above, a professional sales rep knows that this question is redundant if he’s done his research.
You should know the prospects market place before you tip up and waste his time.
Instead, you might want to ask about market conditions versus particularly strong competitors within the buyer’s space? Frame your discussion around relevant new market advances and the implications to the buyer’s organisation? Pending legislative changes? Buyer trends and future growth plans for the business?
It is a peer to peer exchange after all.
All these are more valid exploratory questions simply because these questions will uncover information that won’t be readily available in the public domain. Instead adopting a more curious mindset also allows you, the sales person, to assess ambition, extent of the issue to be addresses and potential solutions that have been explored and adopted/ditched.
The perfect fertile ground for you to present your disruptive, unique and ROI loaded solution based on facts, emotional, logical and finacial.
Diagnoses before analysis just makes you yesterdays sales has been.
B2B Sales Questions to Avoid:3
Tell me about your competitors
Your buyer is not interested in hearing his words reformatted and parroted back to him.
Your prospective buyer wants a fresh look, and independent view point, and unbiased appraisal. He wants your take on his competitors and how they are fairing.
Unlike a few decades ago when a buyer expected you to know not some much about his business, industry and sector, that’s not the case anymore.
Your buyers expect/demand to be educated, informed and entertained by you with your insightful, independent, considered experience and creativity.
Summary:B2B Sales Questions to Avoid
Selling has changed.
Sales people are catching up…or trying to.
Prospects and buyers expectations have changed.
Get rid of with old sales techniques. Ditch the tired sales scripts, dated sales pitches. Improve the quality of your B2B sales questions and magic happens. And you get to easily demonstrate the value your buyer needs to see to make the right decision.
If you’re currently reviewing your sales training or sales coaching needs and would like to discuss how to improve your sales results contact Carol on 0779 002 1885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Likewise, if your sales potential is just that…potential. Or you’d like to improve sales performance but just don’t know where to start, or if you’d need to health check your sales function, then take a look at or Sales Insights Service
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