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40 great business to business sales questions


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short note about this on my blog here

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40 great business to business sales questions

  1. 1. 40 Questions for Business to Business (B2B) sales “I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who.” Rudyard Kipling Richard Lucas February 2015
  2. 2. Introduction • I’ve been in business for more than 30 years • Good questions are vital to sales • Sales are essential to business • I decided to share
  3. 3. Good questions are vital for sales The stereotypical salesperson talks too much Good questions • help us understand a client’s situation, objectives, priorities and challenges • forces us to listen and show respect • Give us time to think and prepare the right responses
  4. 4. What are “Good questions”” Open Questions that - cannot be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ - gather information so we can assess if we can help them . - draw attention to the issues/problems of our client, that we can help with
  5. 5. Qualification and elimination questions • Encourage clients to say “no” • make sure we are talking to people who want to do business with us • Stop us from wasting time when our potential clients do not appreciate what we can do for them • Enable us to work with people and organisations that value what we do
  6. 6. Famous advocates of questions • Tony Robbins Why we do what we do TED talk “I'm the "why" guy.”” • TPS Root cause analysis. The 5 Whys • Rudyard Kipling - The Elephant’s Child. • Simon Sinek “Start with Why” So… “forty great questions for business to business” sales
  7. 7. What 1 what are you doing now 2 what do you want to do in the future 3 what is wrong with the way things are now 4 what is that person’s name 5 What would the value be if we can solve this problem for you ?
  8. 8. Who 6 who is responsible for the topics we are interested in 7 who else will be involved in a decision 8 who is the Technical Director 9 Who was that extra person in the meeting. 10 Who will be working these machines after we install our system 11 who is in charge ? 12 Who else should I be talking to in your organisation
  9. 9. Why 13 do they want to talk/call/agree to see to us ? 14 do they think we will solve their problems 15 why do they want whatever it is we are selling
  10. 10. Where 16 will our system be being used 17 Where are the - computers we are meant to interface with. - keys - passwords !! (North Korea take note) - are the people who will let us in at night 18 where are the people who normally work here ?
  11. 11. When 19 do you want a system implemented by 20 did you start thinking about this type of solution 21 do you expect to take a decision 22 will this system need to be function 23 when do you need a quotation by
  12. 12. How 24 big is your budget 25 often does this problem occur 26 are decisions about new investments made 27 is the fixed asset register controlled 28 long it takes to make a shipment 29 much does the current process cost you 30 much time do we have
  13. 13. Qualification • We don’t want to waste our and the prospect’s time. • It is important to assess the level of interest chance of a sales. • Do they have a budget, and how much is it?
  14. 14. End of meeting “Is” questions (The end of a meeting can be a good time to fire in a question when the client is relaxed and their guard is down) 31 there anything else we should have talked about 32 there anything else you want to ask us 33 there anything that is not clear 34 there anything other than price that you do not like about our offer 35 the status quo acceptable 36 On the phone calling back prospects where we lost “ is our competitors installation/implementation going well?” 37 everything OK ?
  15. 15. If ‘If’ questions are for pre-closing, assessing our chances 39 If we make a proposal which solves the problems you have described, am I correct in understanding that you will place an order? (‘no’ or ‘maybe; is useful information, stops us wasting time on our proposal. 40 If you order now, we will be able to install in next week, when shall we come
  16. 16. Remember • Don’t ask questions and fail to listen to the answer • to repeat back what you think the client has said for confirmation. • To ask for the order
  17. 17. Summary • We are doing potential clients a favour. We offer improvements on the status quo. We are better than just anyone • Do your homework, know your product, know the client organisation, see the world from the client’s point of view • Ask for help, be creative. “I’m going to be in xxx next Wednesday, could I drop in ?” • Know you are competing against • Remember the taxi meter - doing nothing also costs
  18. 18. More info • Richard Lucas blogs at, is on Linkedin , runs the TED and TEDx Fans in Poland, the Wojtek the Soldier Bear group, and the TED and TEDx Fans Tavel and meetup club on Facebook, hosts Open Coffee Kraków and co-founded Wintrepreneurs and is on Soundcloud and will soon be podcasting. I played with TED-ED here
  19. 19. 40 Questions for Business to Business (B2B) sales “I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who.” Rudyard Kipling Richard Lucas February 2015