News & Research Archive

Asking Important Questions Upfront

Feb 12, 2015

 

As salespeople, we really get excited when someone tells us they are interested in our product or service. We automatically get excited at the idea of closing another deal. However, often times the deal falls through because we failed to ask the most important questions, including – Can your new prospect afford what you are offering?

It seems like a simple question, but we too often forget to ask these important questions because we simply go into sales mode, promoting the product or service and hoping that the prospect will agree to make the purchase. It's like someone going to a car show and loving the brand new BMW, but has a maximum budget of a buying a Toyota Corolla. You may get them to look at the BMW, but in the end they can't afford it.

Asking anyone, "What can you afford?" is never easy. It's a difficult subject to bring up and the timing of asking that question can make a huge impact.

You may have a potential client that actually has the budget to afford the space, but when they actually hear the cost, they may go from being a prospect to a suspect.

You could also have the type of buyer who decides they can't afford something immediately after they hear the cost. When in reality, the savings and efficiencies that go with the purchase could actually offset the total costs.

You need to understand how a few important details in order provide added value. If you don't find out this key information, your deal may stall.

Here are key questions a good salesperson should ask early in the sales process:

  1. What are you paying now?
  2. How will the cost of this new service or product improve your company?
  3. If you choose not to buy, what are your other options?
  4. What is your ballpark budget or range?

The right questions at the right time in the sales process can help you uncover the insights you need to understand what's important and the direction a customer is taking.

These top four questions will help you guide the customer on what product or service will make the most sense for them on a realistic budget.

Good salespeople understand that long-term relationships with clients that trust your judgment will lead to great sales in the long run. Your clients will know that you have their best interest at heart.

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Written by: Hans Hansson

E-mail: hans@starboardnet.com


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 30 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email hans@starboardnet.com or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website, www.commercialspacefinder.com.

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