Prospecting Questions: Qualifying the Opportunity

You had a great conversation with a prospect — you’ve presented a great solution — only to hear him conclude at the end of your sales call, “I need to talk it over with my boss before I can make a decision.”

Asking the right questions

You now have the task of finding a way to get your great solution to his boss. And that begins with qualifying the opportunity:

“I’m glad to hear you’ll be sharing this with your boss. So tell me, based on what we’ve discussed so far — what part, specifically, interests you the most?”

Your prospect responds………

“And what concerns — if any  — might you have before you would run this by your boss?”

Uncover what your prospect really likes (and dislikes)

Okay, we’ve found out the prospect’s initial interests and concerns. Let’s dig deeper. Next, try to uncover any potential likes or dislikes of your solution that could impede the sale from the point of view of the decision-maker. Continue with the following questions:

“Let’s just pretend your boss was sitting in on our discussion — what do you think his reaction would be?

Your prospect responds…

“And why do you think that…?”

Hold off asking, “Can I help you present to your boss?” — until you know they need your help and they don’t see you as a threat but an ally to help them sell the solution.

Your prospect’s boss: Reaching the real decision-maker

By asking the right questions you will qualify the level of interest of everyone involved (your prospect and his boss.) And your successful sales presentation will have a much better chance of reaching the true decision-maker.

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Paul Cherry

For over two decades, sales expert and author PAUL CHERRY has helped B2B sales professionals close more deals in all major industries. As a recognized thought leader in customer engagement strategies, Paul Cherry has been featured in more than 250 publications, including Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, Inc., Sales & Marketing Management, The Kiplinger Letter, and Salesforce.

Performance Based Results

Paul Cherry is the president of Performance Based Results. PBR delivers intense, customized sales team training programs and sales management coaching to companies throughout North America. Paul has worked with more than 1,200 organizations, including 175 of the Fortune 500, plus more than a thousand entrepreneurial, small to mid-sized, cutting-edge businesses looking to dominate their niche markets. Clients typically get 7 times their return-on-investment (ROI) or better.

Questions That Sell

Paul Cherry’s top-rated bestseller, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants (AMACOM) has been listed on BookAuthority’s “100 Best Sales Books of All Time” and has been published in four languages. He is also the author of Questions That Get Results (Wiley) and The Ultimate Sales Pro (HarperCollins Leadership).