When qualifying a prospect, we use several techniques to build credibility and trust as well as delve into the prospects needs and pain points. As a sales rep, you need to figure out what the point of pain is and if your solution can solve it — digging deeper while qualifying prospects will not only help you uncover that pain but determine whether your solution is the right one to solve it.
Typically, sales reps spend time asking questions to qualify each prospect. These may include delving into their prospect’s problems and needs, their position in the decision-making process, and whether they have a budget. But sometimes we only scratch the surface.
Open-ended vs Closed-ended Questions
Closed-ended questions are questions that require a single word answer, such as a “yes” or “no”. For example, “Do you manage a team?” or “Did you get my email?” Open-ended questions look for more information; they may start with a “how”, “why” or “what if?” These questions provide insights into your prospects’ business and their perception of the business and points of pain. For example, “How will you measure success?”
Open-ended questions are best used in your initial discovery call with prospects or new customers. You will build trust and rapport, get a better understanding of their needs and this will lead to a positive relationship with your prospect. As the prospect is answering your question, they are reinforcing their need in their own mind.
How to ask open-ended questions
Start paying attention to the questions that you are asking your prospects. Notice how often you are asking closed-ended questions and see how you can rephrase the question to make it open-ended.
Follow up every closed question with an open-ended question. For example; “Did you watch the demo video I sent you?” it’s a yes or a no answer, “What were your initial thoughts?”
Create a list of open-ended questions that can be used on discovery calls. This is to prompt you to ask open-ended questions throughout the call. Use it as a cheat sheet rather than a script.
While both open and closed questions have their place in every sales conversation, for more pointed questions where you want information confirmed, use closed-ended questions. Think of how your questions will not only draw more information out of the prospect but also add value to the conversation.
We understand the demand for quality leads and the need for your team to meet those demands. We are here to help and add value by finding tangible, highly qualified leads where we have secured a date and a time for an appointment. These individuals are in your target audience, at the right decision-making level and have an interest in your solution. Taking away this pressure from your Sales team allows them to focus their time on closing deals and generating revenue.