This week’s blog is by Andre Boykin, who provides tips and techniques to help sales professionals increase sales and earn more commissions on his blog Winning the Sales Game.
If you know anything about selling, you know that one of the keys to developing a winning proposal and selling it successfully is having the skill to ask questions. Asking questions engages your prospect and allows you to get the information you need to develop a unique proposal and solution.
While there is no limit to the information that you could get from a prospect, there are four questions that you must get answered for every sales opportunity:
- How will the prospect determine the best alternative to solve their challenge or problem? You have to know the criteria that will be used to make the decision. Knowing this will help you develop a proposal that is focused on what the prospect is seeking. Rather than giving a generic proposal you will be giving one based on specific needs.
- Who will be involved in that process? You want to know who is going to be influencing the buying decision. Often, there will be more than one or even two people involved in a decision to purchase. While there is only one decision maker, there can be several who influence the decision. You want to make sure you have each of the buying influencers’ needs addressed in your proposal.
- What is the time frame for making a decision and implementation of the solution? Knowing when the decision will be made and when they want to implement can be very important in the development of your proposal. Not knowing this can lead to wasted time and effort. In addition, if the implementation is far into the future, it could affect your pricing.
- What is the budget? You want to know the budget so you can prepare a proposal that lines up with the needs of the prospect’s ability to pay. You could be thinking Cadillac while your prospect is thinking Chevrolet!
To get the answers to the four major questions you have to ask them. Practice doing so and watch your sales increase.