During your sales interaction you need to explore the issues and problems that the prospect is facing and the potential upside of implementing the solution.
The objectives of these questions are to build the pain so that they are moved to action and also to build up a picture of the benefits that they will experience by selecting your products and services.
This is a key stage of the sales process because if the prospect does not deem that the issues are serious enough then they will not be compelled to take action.
Be careful when building the pain. If you're talking to an educated and sales-savvy buyer then they will see straight through what you're trying to do if you go overboard on building the pain points.
So weigh up all of the options and build the right amount of pain and future benefits for them.
1. "If you could get this under control/sorted what would it mean to your business?"
2. "What problems is the current situation causing you?"
3. "How would implementing these changes affect your competitiveness in the market?"
4. "How would implementing these changes affect XYZ?"
5. "How will you evaluate the success of this project/implementation/product?"
6. "If you don't solve (insert the particular challenge here), what kind of problems will you face going forward?"
7. "You mentioned that you're having issues with your current provider. If you work with us, what are you hoping will be different?"
8. "What would solving this issue/problem mean to you personally?"
9. "If you were to wave your magic wand how would this look now?"
10. "If we were able to solve your problem, what would this mean to your company?"
11. "What's the pay off with this? How much will this make you/save you in the future?"
12. "How severely has your company/department/customers/staff been affected by these problems?"
13. "What is the ideal outcome you'd like to experience?"
14. "What results are you trying to accomplish?"
15. "What better product/service/customer/staff condition are you seeking?"
16. "How will the operation/company/customer experience be different as a result of this?"
17. "What would be the return on investment with this?"
18. "How will your productivity/customer service/staff attrition/etc. be improved because of this?"
19. "What issues and problems would this alleviate?"
20. "How would your value proposition be improved because of this?"
21. "How much will you save when we implement this?"
22. "What will these results mean for your company?"
23. "How will these results impact the bottom line?"
24. "What will happen if you do nothing?"
25. "What is the scope of the impact (on customers, employees, suppliers)?"
26. "Is this a priority right now?"
27. "What outcome/result are you looking for?"
28. "Have you exhausted all options in trying to fix this yourself?"
29. "What could you have done to avoid this?"
30. "Have you made the decision that you MUST do something to address this issue?"
31. "Is there a sense of urgency to fix it or do you have plenty of breathing room?"
32. "How, specifically, will the operation/company be different when we're done?"
33. "What is the rate of return (on sales, investment, etc.) that you seek?"
34. "What performance indicators will increase or decrease if we are successful?"
35. "How will you measure success?"
36. "What kind of payoff will you be looking for?"
37. "What's the value of this problem over time?"
38. "If you did nothing, what would happen?"
39. "Let's imagine the problem is fixed. What would it look like and how would you know?"
40. "What is the date by which you hope to get the results in place?"
41. "Can you see how this issue is costing you money/sales/time/customers?"
42. "So doing XYZ the way you have been, actually costs your organisation X amount of hours every day. That means you are losing £X every day/week/month/ year. Are you comfortable with that?"
43. "Did you realise that you were losing that much money/time/productivity before?"
44. "If you add up the total in annual terms, how much does this cost you?"
45. "How do you/your employees do XYZ now?" (Without your solution. Your objective here is to help the prospect see the deficits they suffer by not having your solution. Once you are able to uncover a problem or problems they suffer by not owning your solution, you can then attach a monetary figure, a cost to that problem.)
46. "Have you ever thought of exactly how much money/time it cost you/your organisation/your employees to do this...this way?" (Without your solution)
47. "So what do your people do when this situation comes up today?" (Without your solution)
48. "How much do you spend on XYZ today?" (Without your solution)
49. "You are spending £X every month. (Without your solution) Have you budgeted for this loss?"
50. "Is losing this amount of money normal?"
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In order to offer a solution there has to be a problem first and by asking these types of questions it is going to create the urgency needed to move forward.
Pick which ones you like and try them out. Select some others and modify them.
Happy pain building!
About Sean McPheat
Sean McPheat is the founder and Managing Director of international sales training firm MTD Sales Training, part of theMTD Training Group. He is also the founder of Skillshub, which is an innovative microlearning platform which provides short, focused, online training sessions in under 5 minutes. Sean has been referred to in the media and peers alike as a thought leader within the sales industry.
MTD won Best HR/L&D Supplier at the 2017 CIPD People Management Awards and have delivered training, coaching and consultancy to over 3,500 different organizations and 100,000+ staff from 23 different countries. Sean leads a team of 25 of the most effective sales trainers in the world and has appeared on TV on several occasions as an expert in the field of sales development.
Sean is a bestselling author, a much sought-after international speaker and has been a previous finalist in the British Business Awards for his Entrepreneurial achievements.
Sean has been featured on CNN International, the BBC, ITV, SKY, The Guardian, Forbes, Arena Magazine, Marketing Weekly and radio stations such as BBC WM, Insight Radio and LBC (London’s Big Conversation) and has over 300 other media credits to his name.
He is the author of the FREE Report “450 Sales Questions – What To Ask In Any Sales Situation” which has been downloaded over 35,000 times on the internet.
Contact: 0333 320 2883