It’s very common that stereotype of the extroverted salesperson, who talks a lot and has “great speech”.
In fact, that’s because good salespeople know how to get their prospects talking. The person who talks a lot, in fact, is the prospect, not the salesperson.
Or at least it should be.
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When you notice that your prospect is “talking through,” it’s a sign that you’ve managed to build empathy and that he feels comfortable talking to you.
Want to know how to encourage your prospect to talk more and more? Start by never interrupting your prospects when they’re talking!
His speech is full of valuable information to know who he is, his personality, and the context of the segment in which he works, what situation the company is in, what problems they are currently facing and how your company can – REALLY – help them to solve this.
When you get to that point, it’s time to show the full value of your solution to him. Then comes the closing, which will happen much more naturally after all that.
And do you know how a good salesperson manages to make his client reveal all this? Asking the right questions! Sales Probe Questions.
In this post, you will learn about 20 sample sales survey questions and how to use them in a practical way in your daily life.
20 Sales Probe Questions to Drive Your Prospect to Closing
We’ve commented on this here on the blog several times: any sale starts long before you make the first contact with the buyer. You need to do your homework, get ready beforehand.
The person’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and Integra you’re talking to are all rich in tips about their personality. And the same goes for the company, including its blogs, websites, internet news and more.
This will make it much easier to figure out what sales survey questions you need to ask.
And remember: your goal is to find out how your company’s solutions can help your customer to show their full value to his company. Never get this goal out of your mind when probing the customer.
To make your work easier, we have separated the questions into 4 types and brought 5 examples of each one.
Find out who you are talking to
You do business with companies, but you talk to people.
So getting to know the person you’re talking to can help you better target your sales survey questions.
There are different types of personalities: overly analytical people, who like numbers and statistics, and expressive individuals, linked to novelty and creativity.
If at the beginning of your conversation you find out who exactly you are talking to, the remaining questions will be much more accurate and objective.
Therefore, your questions, in addition to information about the person’s performance, should also help you to know their way of being.
See some examples:
- 1- I researched and I know what your position and function is, but what exactly do you do here at the company?
- 2- I saw that you have training in such area. How does this help you in your daily life? (Here, he can talk a little about his way of being, when answering)
- 3- And your team, how is it formed?
- 4- What kind of professional do you prefer to have on your team? (Here, he can reveal whether he prefers creative and innovative people, or those who use proven solutions, for example. Signs like this reveal his own personality)
- 5- Is it easy to lead this team you manage?
Note that the questions all sound strictly professional, but have great potential to reveal the personality type of the speaker.
Understand the context
Understanding the context is important in any type of conversation or negotiation.
Think about it: if you are going to visit a customer and you know he is having difficulty paying for the last orders, your speech and even the type of offer you are going to make will be very different from a customer you know is doing well and has just opened a new branch.
Context is everything!
So these are the most traditional sales probing questions. See some of them:
- 6- I’ve done business with several companies in your field, with X and Y. But tell me, how is your market currently?
- 7- Who are your biggest competitors?
- 8- At company X, they used to sell a lot in July, due to the seasonality of the sector, does this also happen to you?
- 9- In company Y, they got along very well with supplier W. Do you also work with him, or do you have other trusted partners?
- 10- What is the biggest challenge in your segment today?
Just be careful not to appear to be unfamiliar with the market in which the customer operates or the particularities of this line of business. These questions are generic about the industry, but if you can get him to talk about how the company handles these issues, it will be even better!
What does the customer need anyway?
You understand the context and, if you’ve been skillful in your questions, you already know a little about the company’s situation. It’s time to get to know your problems and “pains”, an always sensitive subject.
- 11- You told me about the challenges in your sector, but here at the company, what do you think you can improve?
- 12- And in your specific area of expertise, how could you get better results?
- 13- What kind of solution have you tried to solve this problem?
- 14- It worked well, how was that? Why didn’t you stay with her?
- 15- Are you currently involved in any new project?
You already understand what the customer needs and what he or she has already tried to do. It’s time to show the value of your solution to him.
Show the value of your solution
Show with questions, not affirmations! Thus, the customer will realize for themselves that your company can really help them to solve their problem.
The secret here is to use a magic word: the “if”. See how:
- 16- What will happen if you don’t solve this soon? (This is a key question to generate a sense of urgency in the prospect)
- 17- If you had unlimited budget (or time), what would you do? (This question helps direct which value argument to use in the following questions)
- 18 – What if I told you that the company solved it this way? (Showcases and statistics)
- 19- Have you ever thought if you eliminated all this and still had a lower cost (risk, time, etc.)? (Show advantages and benefits, but remember to show value as well, in the next questions)
- 20- If you could solve this risk-free (no higher costs, no excessive time, etc.), would you be willing to test our solution?
There comes a time when you have to stop asking, make an offer, and start negotiating your sale. But as we said, that’s another story.
Conclusion: without a good sales survey, there is no business closing
To close the deal, you need to find out what the customer needs to solve and show how your solution meets that demand. This is the value the customer will be willing to purchase.
And remember: if your solution isn’t right for the customer, don’t insist on selling. It’s better not to close a deal than to have a disgruntled customer speak ill of your company in the future.