Everywhere I go lately, small business owners, company execs and everyone in sales is preoccupied with closing deals. The economy has certainly made business a lot more difficult to succeed in, and more than ever, we all need to constantly be analyzing how we’re doing things to keep getting smarter, better, more efficient and more effective. And at the top of everyone’s list: making more money.
That all said, I want to share some hard earned insight that will hopefully save many of you a lot of time, money and aggravation.
When you’re courting a new company or client, the sales process can easily get dragged out over a matter of weeks, months, or worse, never really result in an answer at all – be it yes or no. So, how do you cut to the chase and find out whether there’s really even a deal to be done in the first place?
A few simple questions can make all the difference.
1. What exactly are you looking to have done?
2. What does success look like for this project?
3. Where does this fall on your overall priority list?
4. Are you exploring solutions with other prospective consultants/contractors?
5. What questions do you have about me/us/our work?
6. What’s the time frame you’re looking to start and execute this in?
7. What does your budget look like?
8. Who is the ultimate decision maker? (Who controls the checkbook?)
9. Do you have a specific process for closing deals like this?
10. As for next steps, would you like me to send you a recap of our conversation and a proposal on how we might be able to help you/best serve you?
They say yes, and you have yourself a hot lead.
It may take a meeting or so to build rapport and get comfortable enough to ask these questions, but rest assured you’ll start closing deals a heck of a lot faster when you get answers to these questions early on.