There are 6 quick steps that you can take, in order to prepare good questions in a diagnostic sales conversation.
- Focus the preparation of questions based on the prospect’s role and anticipated critical business issue or pain. That is likely to be of high priority – something that the prospect is being held responsible for addressing.
- Think through what potential reasons for the pain might exist – ones that you can help address.
- Match your product or service capabilities to the potential reasons for pain, asking yourself how you can best address each reason for the pain.
- Consider whether or not those capabilities will be valuable and unique for the prospect. You want to ensure that you’re setting the stage for embedding differentiation into your conversation.
- For each capability, describe it in the form of a capability vision. In other words, create a word picture for the prospect that helps them see their world being better than it is today, because of some new approach being taken.
- For each potential reason, record a series of related quantification or drill-down questions. Questions like, “How often? How many? How much?” should help you uncover how much each reason is contributing to the pain. This will hopefully justify why the matching capability is so important.
Please remember that conversations with prospects can often go in many directions that weren’t planned for. By preparing in advance, you minimize the chances of exploratory conversations going off track. And, you put yourself in position to help the prospect and be viewed as a credible sales consultant.