Whether your sales prospects are CEOs or other key executives in the organization, the best way to quickly engage them is to ask questions about two crucial aspects of business, says sales coach Paul Cherry:

  • The competition and what the next moves on the business chessboard are likely to be.
  • Industry trends that will affect the business in the future.

When you speak about these core issues, you create the opportunity to bring insight and added value to the table, along with your products and services.

Questions to ask
Use these questions to engage your prospects at a deeper level:

  • What has been the biggest contributing factor to your company’s success?
  • In the next three years, what opportunities and threats do you anticipate?
  • What do you think truly differentiates your company from the competition?
  • How does your company measure progress?
  • How does your company approach change?
  • What pending market conditions (i.e., regulation, competitive threats, demographic trends, etc.) might change the way you do business?
  • How does your company address the competitive pressures of the market?
  • What issues do you think your company must address or overcome to be more successful? What specific steps or actions will you need to take?
  • What are your strategies to increase market share. What’s working well for you? What isn’t?

Don’t move too fast
Though your prospects’ time is at a premium, you’re in danger of disconnecting if you try moving too quickly to tactical approaches that qualify or close.

In fact, if you know from experience that your sales cycle will involve two or more calls in order to bear fruit, you may be better off using the first session simply to establish a “connection.”

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