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.