The biggest skill that distinguishes good selling from great selling is the skill of consulting.
I take the skill of consulting for granted. In fact for a long time I thought most people in the speaking/training/coaching industry knew these skills…until I started talking about them and realizing that is not the case.
I grew up in the consulting world so all of the skills I learned then come second nature to me now. To clarify, I’m not talking about those who want to sell consulting or be a consultant. What I am referring to is the fact that the same skills that make a consultant great make a sales person great. The skill of curiosity and using powerful questions and active listening before mentioning what you do, how you do it and what it will cost.
In this month’s E-Tip I want to leave you with some Pre-sales Questions you can ask any prospect that will make you a better sales person and get you the info you need before proposing what you can do for them.
If you’ve already had a few conversations with your prospect and you do not have the answers to these questions, ask them in your next call. It’s never too late and it’s critical you know the answers.
Why is it critical?
- How can you know what to offer a prospect if you don’t know what they are actually challenged with?
- How can you propose to help them if you don’t know what is even driving them to seek out the help?
- How can you give them your rates before understanding what they even need?
I hate to burst your bubble but just because a prospect tells you what they want doesn’t mean it’s actually what they need. That’s where strong consulting skills come into play. Consulting skills cuts through what they want and distinguishes what they actually need.
When you can do that, you will learn a whole lot more about them, discover new places and areas you can help them and leave that call with more workshops/programs to propose than you went into the call with.
And here’s the side effect of great consulting skills: The prospect will often share that they haven’t been asked those kinds of questions before. When you make them think differently, they remember you. It also gives them a taste of how you roll.
These questions can apply to any service/product are offering – speaking gigs, coaching programs, virtual programs…so I invite you to bring these Pre-Sales Questions into your next sales call and share your experience in the comments below!
Pre-Sales Questions for Context/Drivers/Client Needs
- Can you tell me about your role and overall responsibilities?
- How long have you been with <Client Company>?
- What is your company most known for or proud of?
- What are the drivers to bringing this program in? Who initiated the request?
- Who is this program/training for? How many? What levels of experience do they have around <Your Topic>?
- What are the biggest challenges or pain they are experiencing around <Your Topic>? Can you paint a few scenarios/provide a few examples for me?
- How much time and/or $$ is lost due to these challenges? (If they give you time, ask “What would that translate into in terms of $$?)
- What would you like participants to get out of this program? How will you know it’s successful?
- What other departments/people in your organization could benefit from this?
- What would most surprise an outsider looking into this group/dept./org?
P.s. This is just a sub-set of the questions I’ll be sharing in my future program “How to get booked in Corporate without having to Cold Call“. I’ll let you know when it’s ready to launch but if you need the info sooner I’m able to take on a few 1-on-1 clients starting in mid-June. Just fill this out to Setup a Discovery Call to see if there is a fit.