In front of the customer, they’re instinctive…
But somehow, they’re tough to write down on a piece of paper.
Your qualification questions. The questions you ask a prospect so that you understand they’re needs and what solutions you may have that they’ll see value in.
So you’re asking, why do I need to put them in writing?
Well the obvious answers are:
•So you can select market segments to target.
•So you can teach others to do it too.
•So you can create things like web forms that pre-qualify leads for you by asking some of these questions.
But there’s another reason to firm up your grasp on what you need to know about a prospect – so you can be a better sales person!
How do you know who’s hot and who’s not? Do you just remember? Do you have notes written down that you can review to devine the quality of each lead?
That’s great but, its not good enough in this brave new world!
There is a limit to the number of relationships you can manage in your head. Pat Sullivan, the founder of ACT!, says you can multiply that # by 5 fold if you use a database to do it. Imagine increasing your pipeline of potential sales by 5 fold!
The most productive activity a sales person undertakes is contacting customers. In most businesses, you have to call a prospect a few times just to get them on the phone. Most times you dial the phone, you get voice mail, gate keepers, etc. If you have to read anecdotal notes before each dial of the phone, you wasting time repeatedly for each prospect. Putting the key information in quickly visible and understandable form allows you to dial more often and contact more customers.
Having your prospects in a list or database that includes this key information and can be sorted or searched using these criteria allows you to quickly pull up a call list for today or a list of customers to send a certain product announcement to.
The tough part is getting that seat of the pants questioning that you’re so good at into a managable set of database fields.
When you do, you can create a simple call sheet that lists the questions and the most popular answers. When you’re talking with a prospect, you just circle the answers that apply. This is a good way to test your first draft of the questions.
Then make them fields in your contact management system. Create drop down lists for the answers that are most common.
Now, when you’re on the phone, you instantly know which questions you’ve already asked and which still need to be asked. You can record the answers with a couple of clicks.
More tomorrow on a simple approach to getting the questions on paper.