When prospecting, how often are you able to reach a decision-maker? And, even whenever you do, how often do they simply refer you to someone else?
Depending on the kinds of question you ask, you might be referred back to what we call an "order-taker", or your call will simply be ignored altogether. At Sandler, we categorize prospecting questions as either being strategic or tactical.
Tactical questions revolve around things like data or things that have an immediate impact. An example of a tactical question you might ask your prospect is "how much are you currently paying for ______?"
Strategic questions are more big-picture related and might sound like "Where do you want your company to be in 5 to 10 years?"
While both of these types of questions are important, the biggest problem is that, more often than not, if you finally reach a decision-maker like a CEO, President, VP, executive, etc, and you ask a tactical question like "how much do you pay for _____?", they probably won't know something like an exact number value. And, for that reason, they'll likely refer you to someone who does.
This can go both ways as well. If you're talking to an "order-taker", and you ask them something strategic like "what outcomes do you hope to achieve by lowering the cost of ____?" they may not have an answer. But...why is this important? If you ask someone at a lower level around 3 strategic questions in a row that they don't have the answer to, they're more likely to refer you to the actual decision-maker or at least include them on a future call.
Want to learn more questions to ask your prospect? Click here to download our free whitepaper THREE QUESTIONING STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU CLOSE THE SALE