When talking to a client, prospect, or potential client, you must be sure of what they are saying. You need to fully understand what they are looking for or what they want. That is the only way to assure them that you can provide the product or service to ease their pain point.
To achieve this, it will require you to ask specific questions. This is true whether you are looking to close a new client or are working with a scope change in a project.
What is your topic of interest?
Consider opening every conversation with this question. It is specific and allows the client and prospects to get straight to the point. This question often opens the discussion and will lead to more questions. Since it is a conversation and you are trying to understand the customer’s needs, you are likely to be able to pick out questions from what they are saying. As they answer each question that you ask, you get clarity into what they need and respond to them accordingly. This process allows you to reflect on the potential solutions you can offer.
Why are you considering our products or services?
This question is always necessary to ask. It is another way of saying, “how can we help you?” or “what can we do for you?” The importance of discovering this cannot be overstated because it informs you of the research they have already done.
What are the goals you are looking to achieve?
This question is valuable when prospects over-explain or find difficulty expressing their needs; or when an existing client’s needs change. It helps to get them back on track. Once you understand prospects’ or clients’ goals, you can determine how to best help them achieve those goals.
What issues or challenges are you dealing with?
The goal of having a discussion like this with a potential client is to help them solve their problems. It is essential to research prospective clients. It isn’t easy to help others if you are not aware of who they are and what they do. If you are not sure of their situation, especially in a time of crisis, always ask.
What factors are important in your purchasing decisions?
Before signing a contract, clients and prospects must consider various factors. In many cases, these factors determine the product or service they purchase, where they purchase it, and when. If you are unaware of these factors, it will be hard for you to determine if you are in the position to meet their needs.
Who are your suppliers, and what made you choose them?
Suppose you are talking to a client or prospect. They probably have other brands that already supply them with the same or similar products or services. When you are trying to offer the alternative solutions that you specialize in, you must know why they chose that brand in the first place or what attracted the supplier to them. After asking for the product that they are using and why they choose that product or brand, also ask for their impression of that product or solution. Their responses give you an idea of what your prospect needs.
What do you want to do?
This is one of the last questions to ask. This question helps you determine how effective your pitch was and how well you explained your offerings. After you have cleared any doubts and answered any questions, ask the prospect about their next steps. If the prospect needs more time, remember, never be pushy. They must decide what they want to do.
Is there any other thing you want to talk about?
This question is important because you have a duty to answer all their questions and try to solve their problems. You do not want them to leave prospects with doubts or unresolved concerns. Asking this allows them the opportunity to speak about any doubts or questions they have about your product or solution.
Be sure never to assume anything when you are dealing with a potential client. Ask these questions above for clarity and better understand what is on prospects’ or clients’ minds. This will help you thrive.
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