- Blog post
‘Sideways’ questions to use in cold calling
“Are you the person responsible for…?”
“Who should I speak to about … ?”
“If I could show you …, would you be interested?”
Cold-calling questions like these put prospects into autopilot. “Another sales pitch,” the prospect thinks. “Tell me why I should care.”
Here are questions that come at a prospect from a different direction. They demonstrate a genuine interest in the other person’s business, and they make prospects stop and think. (These aren’t the first questions you would ask, of course; use them when it’s time to move the conversation to the next level.)
- What do you like best about what you do? This leads to a more interesting conversation about the other person’s business, his likes and dislikes and his experiences.
- What got you started in this industry? This gives the other person a chance to talk about her personal goals and desires.
- What are some of your biggest challenges? This generally yields the most revealing response. It’s best used toward the end of the conversation, with the logical follow-up “How can I help you?”