Regardless of how good you are, there are questions you need to ask to determine if the opportunity you are working on is real. These questions have been proven to move sales folks in a more favorable position to win the deal.
1. What is the problem that needs to be solved?
Instead of talking about the product or service, get the prospect to tell you what they are looking to do with their warehouse operations. Don’t be too quick on putting together a quote. Try to understand the real situation and why the person believes your good/service can help them solve the problem.
2. How does your company make the decision to buy?
3. Who are the other buying influencers involved in the decision?
In addition to the person you are working with, you need to know others that will be involved. Sometimes job titles don’t tell you everything. If you are working with a facility manager or Director of Operations, you are doing okay, however you may learn that the CFO makes final decisions. By asking about the folks involved, you may learn that you need “access to power” to close the deal.
4. What other alternative solutions are being considered?
If your prospect wants to maximize warehouse space, it is important for you to have an idea of other solutions that they are considering. You don’t want to be blindsided and have the prospect say… “Sorry, we purchased something completely different”.
5. How will your current vendors react to the possibility of buying from us?
Sometimes existing vendors have more power than you think. This question will help you see what you’re really facing. If your contact tells you that the existing vendor has some say in the whole situation, it’s a good idea to find their areas of strengths and weaknesses, so you can put together a better approach.
6. What are the various cost factors involved?
Many times, you will have to put together an ROI analysis to detail the cost justification and payback. The ROI analysis and should involve all the key decision makers. If you cannot get them all involved, it is still better to have one or two insiders to help you prove your case to the rest of the decision making team.
7. Is there a budget? How did it originate? What is its relationship to the cost of the problem?
I know that this is sometimes an annoying question to ask. While you don’t want to look like you’re trying to figure out how much of a margin you can make off of the prospect, you need to know if it is a real project and if the company is serious about solving their problem. When the prospect has an idea of cost of the problem, you can then put together an attractive package with the ROI analysis.
8. When is the decision to be made? Why at that time?
If there is no time frame in place, then there may not be a real project. If there is a set deadline, you can then ensure that you can meet it and 2) get your marketing department to nurture the prospect so the prospect is reminded of your valuable services. Lead nurturing is key to keeping the prospect interested in your goods and services.
9. What would happen if the problem is not solved by the deadline? What remedial do you plan to have?
This is a tough question to ask, because the prospect may not know the answer or their answer would be “to continue what we are doing”. When there is no remedial plan if the deadline is past, means that they probably will continue to lose money operating the way they are. You can work with them to build urgency to fix the problem.
10. Can we agree on the criteria used to measure the quotation of this project?
When you work closely with the prospect on the criteria used to measure the success of the project, you have put yourself in a very good position. The prospect and the team may regard you as a “partner” trying to help them put together a true solution rather than as a vendor. Try to put yourself in their position and put together a program that would really improve their warehousing operations.
About Khach Customers and Why you should work with Us
Khach Customers is a professional material handling marketing company like no other. We provide innovative custom designed marketing and sales solutions dedicated to increase your sales, market share, and growth. The following are a few key points differentiating us:
1. Unique marketing services specializing in helping you sell to more warehouses and distribution centers
2. 45 years of successful marketing and selling Materials Handling products and services
3. We truly know your ideal customers and have personal contact with them
4. Our database includes consultants, warehouses/DCs in; food, beverage, cold store, health care, long load handling, and pharmaceutical
5. We have doubled our own sales and we aim to do the same for your business
Interested in learning more? Go to www.khachusa.com or call us at 714-496-4499.