Approaching prospective customers it is important to be prepared with the right questions, a good attitude and a friendly manner.
Here are some tips to help you in your approach to a prospective customer.
Effective questions that could help you
- Getting information before that call is definitely the right approach, with the right information you can effectively give the prospective customer what they want. Certainly you cannot make an effective presentation without the right information so preplanning and preparation is vitally important.
- You will need to avoid asking questions that go nowhere, for example, “How is service?” “What are you seeking in a vendor”. “Do you have any problems now?” “Is everything OK?” All of these types of questions force the potential customer to think too much. What you need to do is get the customer focused and emotionally involved, they need to see and feel the problem that can be solved with a product or service you have on offer. You need to work on a problem that you might know they are experiencing and how they can solve that problem. For instance, “When you need parts shipped over night and you are unable to get them, what do you do? This will focus on a problem they have and lead up to you giving a solution. Of course you must have a solution before asking such a question.
- Don’t ask more than one question at a time. The customer can only answer one question, not many, as it confuses the issue and they might not give you the right answers to pursue your call.
- After you have asked your question resist the urge to say something if they don’t answer immediately. Don’t let silence intimidate you, the client is probably thinking about your question and deciding the best answer.
- After they have answered the question take a pause and silently to yourself count to two before resuming the next question, sometimes the client may have more to say, give them the chance. You might miss out on better information when you pause for an extra minute or so.
- Don’t ramble when asking questions, be prepared and confident with your questions it shows a positive outlook to the prospective client.
- Many telesales companies have a benefit list for their telesales staff to use. These can be positive or negative, but why wait until you are talking to the customer to find out if they are positive or negative, take action and compile a question list related to your benefit list. Never assume that your customer will automatically want and need what’s on your benefit list, so you need some subtle questioning to find out their needs. To arrive at an answer you could offer questions similar to these:
How much time is your staff spending on (a given task…). Depending on the reply, it could be no time at all, or they may stipulate an amount of time. Be prepared with your next question depending on the answer. If the answer is none then be prepared with a new question that is unrelated to the first question, or if a time frame is mentioned, it remain open on the first question to explore it further.
Some examples of how to ask questions
- Do you remember the last time you had a… (particular situation)
- What would you do if… (a particular thing happened)
- How often have you noticed that… (you or something has happened)
- What problems arise if…
- How often… (does something happen that is negative or positive)
- What would you do if you require a part urgently and your supplier has left for the day…
There are many techniques to questioning that could be learned or researched to help your approach to your customer and create a positive response instead of a negative response leaving the customer feeling ‘oh no just another one of those pesky telesales persons’. You need to leave the customer feeling that they have been given a wonderful benefit opportunity and wish to hear from you again.