Here are some questions for you to ask your prospects early on in the Sales process [but not during the first call]. The answers can help you qualify the prospect. This is not in any order. You should pick and choose to suit your sales situation. You are the best judge of your situation. Sales people are the entrepreneurs in an organization and are capable of making quick decisions.

No one has any time to waste. And that includes You. Your time is important as much as the prospects’ time. If there is no product match or service match there is simply no point in wasting everybody’s time. You can say there is no match and move on. Clients will respect you for that. There are hundreds of other customers wanting exactly the product or service that you are offering and are searching for you. Go, find them.

Now, the questions:

  1. What inspired you to initiate a dialogue with me / us ?
  2. What is the problem statement ?
  3. How are you solving this problem [XYZ] today ?
  4. How much money is set aside for this project ?
  5. When is the latest you want to have this project initiated ?
  6. Are you working on any deadlines to complete the project ?
  7. How important is this project to your top management ?
  8. How is this project helping you in achieving your Organizational goals ?
  9. What are some of the ground shaking things that are happening in your Industry ?
  10. What does your client look for in you ?
  11. Are you currently driving this project full time ?
  12. Who else besides you has a stake in this project ?
  13. And how do we get them also involved ?
  14. What is the biggest obstacle, you currently foresee, for this project to kick-off ?
  15. What skills are you looking at, in a partner working on <XYZ> ?
  16. What metrics are important to you ?
  17. What targets have you set for yourself, in terms of <ABC> for the year YYYY ?
  18. What are some of the most important non-negotiable criteria to choose a vendor for this project ?
  19. What are your thoughts on our Organization and/or our product <xxx> or service <yyy> ?
  20. Can you help me champion this project within your Organization ?

Prospects will start looking at you with utmost respect and they would love to work with you and will definitely call you whenever they think they can engage you and your organization, in the future. You will always have a special place in their minds than your competition. You will be regarded as someone who is very knowledgeable in your field.

Undertake your research on your Prospects’ Organization and the Contact Person before the first meeting and go with an open mind. Always think how you can help your prospect in any given situation.