The easiest way to close a sale is to really know your buyer well so you can craft your pitch around their needs. And the only way to do that is to find out about what they’re looking for. But do you know the right questions to ask?
HubSpot recently published an interesting list of questions to ask prospective clients for a more effective process, five of which we want to emphasize to help improve your managed services sales.
1. Who has your business now? How did they get it? How can I get it?
Find out who the client is currently working with and do your homework. Learn what services they offer, the software they use, and any other information that could give you a leg up on the pitch. Knowing your competition can help you identify opportunities to replace existing technologies an SMB uses with superior tools.
2. What are your buying criteria and success criteria?
In many cases, you may be speaking to a variety of people within the same company – for example, senior IT staff, IT managers, non-IT C-suite – and knowing your buyer’s interests and needs well is crucial to closing the sale, though it is more complex if those interests and needs differ depending on who you’re talking to.
3. What level of service are you willing to pay for?
A simple question about budget limitations and desired services, your prospect’s answers can help you determine how to adjust your pitch and pricing to better appeal to the decision maker.
4. How is the potential of new products or services evaluated?
Learning the guidelines for choosing new services can provide valuable insight into what the organization actually values. For instance, if the highest priority in determining potential is price, you’ll want to tailor your pitch around how your services can help with cost reduction.
5. What might cause you to bring in outside IT help?
What are they looking for that they are not getting out of their current IT arrangement (whether they handle IT in-house or through another service provider)? You’ll find out more about their needs and can then show how you have the competitive advantage.
A great example was noted in a recent Amdocs report, in which nearly half of SMBs paying for separate primary IT services and cloud services would switch to their primary provider if all the services were offered in one bundle. With the right package of services, you might be able to entice a prospect based on your ability .
What questions do you think are essential to closing sales? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.