There are plenty of guides out there telling you how to sell, but it’s just as important to learn how not to sell.
Because the last thing you want to do is make a sales prospect uncomfortable.
Making a blunder in your approach or delivery at any point during the sales process is a great way to push them over to a competitor and lose the deal.
One of the biggest areas where salespeople make a lot of mistakes is with Q&A.
You can easily seem unprepared at best, and an amateur, phonebook salesperson at worst if you ask cliché questions the client has answered 100 times before.
So what are the questions you should avoid?
We did the research, and came up with 5 types of questions your sales prospects really wish you would stop asking ask:
1. Anything you could figure out online from their website, LinkedIn, etc.
"Tell me a little more about your business" is a perfect example of a question that you should be able to answer yourself. Asking general questions about their company will only imply you’re underprepared.
To avoid this, go on Google, visit their website, their LinkedIn page– do as much research as possible in advance.
This way, when you’re on your call, you can ask targeted questions relating to their processes that you can help with!
2. Questions with obvious answers.
Asking obvious questions is a waste of everyone’s time.
"Do you want to make the process easier?"
"Are you interested in saving money?"
"Are you looking to generate more business?"
"Can I be honest with you?"
These are all obvious questions that waste the little time you have with the prospect.
Instead, every question you ask should help you better understand the prospect’s needs, and help them see how your solution can solve their biggest pains and achieve their biggest dreams.
If a question isn’t achieving this, CUT IT.
Avoid the questions you already know the answer to.
3. "Are you the decision-maker?"
This question is terrible because it’s way too straightforward. There’s a reason that they booked a demo to speak with you. They might not have the final say or the card in hand, but it’s unlikely that they’d waste their time if they didn't have some type of influence over the decision.
Plus, if they are the decision maker, this might seem pushy to ask. And pushy tactics usually push prospects right into the hands of your competition.
4. "Are you pursuing/looking/speaking with other vendors?"
Speaking of competition, avoid making things awkward by directly asking if they are pursuing other vendors.
We’re all constantly on the hunt for better products, better prices, and better results, so this question is pointless.
Additionally, you don’t want to make the prospect feel pressured to share info with you.
Have faith in your product or service, and make sure you are delivering value. Your pitch will speak for itself and knock out the other solutions without the need to pry.
5. Certain budget questions.
Instead of asking "what’s your budget", try "let me know if and when you’re ready to look at pricing".
Better yet, just provide them with ample information.
With budget, it’s usually best to let the prospect take the lead and ask you budget questions to initiate the conversation. Once they have shown an interest in talking about pricing, that’s when you can ask budget questions to better assess their needs.
We want to clarify that asking questions during the sales cycle is a good thing. It helps you better understand the customer’s needs, wants, and limitations. However, steering clear of the questions listed above will give you the advantage of creating a comfortable space for your client– and this is key to nurturing the relationship.