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The Three Questions You Need to Ask to Drive Successful Sales Conversations

Business.com / Last Modified: May 18, 2018
Image credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Is your sales team struggling to close sales? Overcome objections, squash the competition and motivate consumers by using these three questions to your advantage.

In sales we love talking to prospects, learning about pain points and sharing more about our product/service. This works well if you and your team are prepared to handle objections, identify laggards in the market and light a fire under your prospects to drive action. But how do you know you're truly ready to start hitting the phone or sending those outbound emails?

There are three little questions in sales that will take you and your team straight to the top when it comes to readiness. Answer them, keep them close, and you will be ready for every outbound call you make. They are:

  • Why buy anything?
  • Why buy from us?
  • Why buy now?

When answering these questions keep it short, one or two points that your reps can use on the phone.

Why buy anything?

Depending on your product offering, you will probably encounter prospects that do not understand your category. "Why do I need a relationship management software? I have spreadsheets." These types of prospects will need the overview of why anything.

This is why your category matters and why other groups are adopting it. Failing to do this and jumping into what makes your solution great will not get you anywhere. A better mousetrap is worthless if the world doesn't think it has a mouse problem. 

Why buy from us?

So the prospect knows why the category matters, but they recognize that you're not the only game in town. There are other competitors in your space, and then there is also their current process that you're up against.

A good answer drives home the points of differentiation between you and competitive offerings, and it will address why your ROI outperforms the current setup. Typically reps will focus on cost savings or feature sets that the other guys simply cannot match. This is why it's so important to stay current with the competition. The features you used to win deals yesterday may not be the ones to lead you to success next quarter.

Why buy now? 

Arguably the hardest question to answer for your prospect. After all, they have other priorities and projects going on, so can't your offering wait until next year? Junior reps will often say "Why not now? Think of all the ROI that you're losing by not doing this now." Unfortunately, that rarely speeds things up. After all, you didn't really give them a reason to move faster.

To answer this question and incentivize your prospect, you need to motivate them. Maybe you'll guarantee 25 percent off of their current bill with a competitor if they sign in the next 30 days. Perhaps it's giving them access to a new feature they want if it gets the contract signed. The important thing here is that you are giving them an incentive to act. If you fail to make the connection, your prospect will think you’ve given them something for free and wonder what else you have to give.

Now that you know the three questions, you can easily adjust your talking points depending on where you and your reps are getting stuck. Do they have calls that get stalled when a certain competitor comes up? That's the "why buy us" question. Encountering a bunch of laggards that don't understand your offering? Look closely at the "why buy anything" question above. Your team is ready to start talking to prospects. Happy dialing!

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