How do you know if your Prospect is really interested?
You feel like you are really connecting with a prospect that you have been working through the sales pipeline for weeks/months. Then out of nowhere, you find out that you were the due diligence contact that was being used to trade against the prospect’s real interest. Wow. Months of work down the drain. If only you had known sooner.
In hindsight, you wonder what you could have done differently. Should you have known that the prospect was not interested? Were there questions that you could have asked to better understand the engagement level of the prospect?
Actually, yes. There are some questions that have been determined to help in this area. Not the normal, often times overused questions…
Some examples of effective and revealing questions are:
“What do you hope to achieve from this meeting?”
You might be looking to gain an ally within the company to help you champion your product, but they might be looking for other things like pricing, testing your knowledge, looking for some type of solution, or simply stringing along a Plan B.
Knowing your prospect’s true objective will allow you to either provide the solution to that objective, or put together some type of upfront contract to protect the ideas and/or solutions your team provides.
Remember, to end the call by asking if they are satisfied. Do not be afraid to hear that they had more questions. It is better to know and address their concerns than to assume.
The elusive and often times misunderstood, “Why?”
If your prospect is unhappy with the information that you are providing, don’t try to change their mind. Ask why. Why is the timeframe too long? Why is the price too high?
Understanding any and all obstacles that the prospect faces – either cost, time, or just selling the idea to their decision makers – can only be overcome if you first know that it exists.
Finally, asking another extremely important but infrequently asked question,
“Are you currently exploring any alternatives?”
It is much better to stay ahead of the competition, not pretend they don’t exist, so get ahead with this simple question. Remember, if your prospect is serious, they have to be exploring their options.