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Ben Debayle By Ben Debayle • August 18, 2015

Every Salesperson Needs To Ask These Questions On The FIRST Call

Great salespeople really understand their prospect's needs and concerns. These questions will help you quickly get to the bottom of where a prospect stands. You should try to ask every one of the following questions on the first call if you can.

What got you interested in taking a meeting with me today?

This is a great way to start your meeting. It establishes your understanding for what about your product caught their eye. You'll land anywhere in the range from them just wanting to stay up-to-date and see what's out there to letting you know that you're reaching out at the exact time they're looking to purchase a product like yours. This will help you qualify the deal better and understand where they stand.

Who else will be involved with approving this decision?

You need to know every decision-maker that will have a say in the purchase because every one of them will need to be individually sold on your product. Get familiar with everyone, then get in front of everyone.

What is your time frame for making a decision?

If they're thinking next year and you're thinking next week, you'll get pushy and annoying real fast and will probably end up driving them away. It's good to have the expectations plainly spelled out so you can plan your communication frequency accordingly.

Do you have a budget set for something like this?

This is a big one. If they don't have budget carved out for a product like yours, there will be a process to removing this hurdle and it will most likely extend your deal cycle. If this is the case, your primary responsibility will be to help push this process along, even if it's pitching directly to their finance dept.

What are the primary challenges in making a decision to pursue this further?

You need to know their big hangups. Is it the price? Is it their perceived lack of need? Is it the concern about getting your product implemented and used? Whatever it is, you will need to address that concern and reassure them every time you meet.

When are you available this next week to chat about the next steps?

Don't end a call without at least trying to get something solid on their calendar. With their interest being highest at the end of your pitch, this is your best chance to do it. Ask them to look at their calendar that next week (the sooner the better) and pick a time that works to circle back up.

Are there any questions you think we missed? Let us know below.