The average person consults an average of 10.4 sources before finally making a purchase. With this statistic in mind, it is crucial for salespeople to nurture and educate their leads as they search for answers.
As you help guide your prospects through the buying cycle, be prepared to answer the following questions — whether that means answering them directly or being proactive and reading between the lines. As you’re asking these questions be sure to take notes in a journal or notepad or something along those lines.
Question 1: Can you tell me how much this will cost?
This question is mutually beneficial because it is often the first step for both parties to decide whether they are a good fit. Consumers want to know what they’re getting themselves into before they offer any sort of commitment — even if that next level of commitment is an in-person meeting.
Instead of providing a full menu of your services or dodging the question altogether, discuss the level of value you can offer your prospect. Explain that each project varies because your services are tailored to fit your clients’ needs. Lean on your website by showcasing a project portfolio or case studies to demonstrate the various levels of service you offer.
Question 2: What does your process look like?
Typically prospects’ intent behind this question is to gauge the level of involvement that will be required by them if they pursue a relationship with you. This makes sense — people want a clear vision of what to expect when engaging with a partner.
It’s a good idea to have a concise outline of your process prepared. It helps to highlight any phases of the process that will require more attention from your client and which phases are more hands-off. Some clients prefer to be more involved in projects than others, so clarify what level of communication should be expected.
Bonus points if you have your process outlined on your company’s website so that prospects can explore it independently.
Question 3: How are you different from your competition?
It’s fairly obvious that your answer to this question is not an opportunity to bash your competitors. Instead, focus on what truly sets your team apart.
Don’t use this as an excuse to butt heads with the competition
Try to draw from things you’ve heard from current clients. Do they love how attentive your team is? Or how you always offer creative solutions? These comments offer lots of insight into what makes you different from your competition.
In addition, this question affords you the opportunity to highlight some things about your company that might be commonly misconstrued. For example, if you’re a member of a fairly small team, discuss the value of the highly personalized attention your clients receive.
Question 4: Have you worked in my industry before?
Specializing in one industry can be helpful, but isn’t a necessity
Before diving into an answer here, try to ascertain what the prospect really means. Are they trying to make sure you have enough experience in their industry to be considered credible? Perhaps they’re trying to find out if you work with their competitors?
Experience is very rarely, if ever, a bad thing, so if you do have experience in the prospect’s industry, be sure to highlight these instances. Reassure the prospect that their information will be kept private from other clients, even if you work exclusively in their industry.
If you don’t have experience in the prospect’s industry, discuss potential similarities to other industries you’ve worked with, or reiterate the broad range of industries you’ve worked with and use that to demonstrate your versatility. Use your website portfolio to highlight the range of industries you work with and illustrate the quality of your work with each one.
Guide Your Prospects Through Insightful Answers
The best leads ask tough questions. If they’re serious about the purchase and know what they want (or at least think they know what they want), they’ll grill you to be sure you’re the right choice. And while this can seem off-putting at first, it can be an enormous help when prospecting and deciding which leads to spend time on.