This amazing article on smart interview questions got me thinking about smart questions sales people can ask their buyers.
Too many sales people ask qualifying questions that help them determine if the person is worth pursuing rather than issue based questions to begin a trusting and potentially profitable relationship.
The difference between a qualifying question(When is your next event? How many people typically attend? Where did you hold your meeting last year? Who else is involved in the decision?) and an issue-based question is like the difference between a piece of creamy dark chocolate and a grapefruit. They both have their place in selling but offering the lovely chocolate is far more likely to energize and entice your buyer.
Qualifying questions do just that. The buyer knows exactly what you’re doing and what you’re doing is going for the kill!
Issue-based questions start conversations and begin authentic relationships. They usually revolve around a problem or challenge the buyer could potentially have and that you know about because of your experience or research.
Here are 4 questions that reveal that you care about your buyer’s needs and not just your numbers:
•Based on my experience working with other meeting planners, it seems that the offsite events are the most challenging to manage because there seem to be more viewpoints to consider. Do you also find that to be true or are there other aspects of the event that seem more challenging?
•May I ask you, with all the events you manage, what was the one you’re most proud of?
•Meetings need to accomplish so much to provide great ROI today. What is the one message that is most important to your stakeholders that your delegates take home with them?
•Many of your counterparts struggle to persuade their committees to break old patterns. Does your team easily embrace your new ideas or do you work hard to help them to see the benefits of fresh thinking?
Once you’ve started a conversation based on the buyer’s interests, moving to qualifying questions is the logical next step in both the selling and buying process. Excite them by focusing on them and they may just return the favor.
What are your favorite issue-based questions?