3 key questions to ask prospects.

Entrepreneurs, salespeople (and marketers) are too often telling stories, when in fact their core job is to ask questions. This creates long acquisition processes and the company invests a lot of time and money in pointless bids. Ask these three questions of a prospect and determine in one conversation whether you will ever get to business.
Auteur: Erik Camman
Categorie: Sales

In addition, asking these questions helps determine your communication strategy, so prospects will recognize you for your good solutions in the future. These questions are great if you want to supplant the competitor or provide a “perfect”


supply, where you want to add more value in a “better offer” than just a lower price.

Who is your current supplier?

A salesman is only too happy to talk about his own products or services. Questions about the current supplier are too infrequent in sales conversations, when there is good reason to do so. After all: The company you are a guest at has been getting by for years without your product (and quite successfully, I hope) so it comes as no surprise to your interviewer that you are interested in it.

What do you value about your provider’s services?

I also hear this question too infrequently while the same applies as question 1: There is a reason your prospect is doing business with a colleague. Often he will find that there is already a long relationship and that he cherishes it. Then you have to ask some more questions, because a long relationship always has a deeper cause.*

What part of its service does your supplier need to improve?

That, of course, is the most interesting question, which gives handles to base your proposition on. Do try to hold back a little here and don’t immediately start shouting that you can do better. Staying calm is an important trait here; you gather the ammunition to come back later, with a good story.


As you can see, none of these questions is a direct invitation to come to business with you. Of course, it may be there if the prospect has manifest interest in your product or service. (I would just write down the assignment when you get a chance ???? ) but you will find that by acting this way, you immediately start the relationship on a higher level.

Research shows that these questions are asked too few because we are afraid our prospect will not want to answer them. That in itself is also a signal; apparently the prospect does not see you as an equal interlocutor and you still have some ground to cover to come alongside him. You might wonder if you’re at the right table then. To position yourself at the right time with your prospect, you can use lead nurturing tools such as



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