Consultative selling is asking thought-provoking questions that allow the prospect to think. We often try to push them in to a hole by asking leading questions like, “wouldn’t it be a benefit to you to save ___” Way too salesy! Try some true consultative questions and see how you are treated!
Examples of Specific Client Interview Questions
Use the questions you feel are relevant for you
What are your goals for next year compared with this year?
It is now (plug in current date) July 201_, If it was July 201_ and you said, “this has been a great year” What would have to happen in the next 12 months for you to say that?”
How has the economy changed your business and what are you doing differently as a result? (or) In what ways are you going to capitalize on this year’s success to ensure even greater success next year?
With (the next year) around the corner, what do you think you’ll do more or less of in the coming year?
In what ways can you ensure your continuing success?
If we work together, in what ways do you see us helping you achieve your goals?
What changes need to be implemented to ensure greater success?
What would make your job easier?
What things do you like doing? What things don’t you like doing?
What things do you do that are counterproductive?
Do you need to get better at something and what is it?
If you want more time away from your business, what do you have to stop doing?
How great are you willing to let your business get?
What percentage of time do you spend doing vs. managing vs. leading?
Make a list of people that report directly to you. (Knowing what you know today would you hire that person for that position?)
What are the brutal facts about your business?
What can you be best at? What can you not be best at?
What would your top ten customers say to this question… Why do they do business with you?
What people, systems or processes are either helping or hurting your progress in achieving the main thing?
What mistakes have you made because of lack of patience?
What opportunities do you have?
Where does your time and energy go?
Who and what are the time and energy robbers?
What motivates you? What demoralizes you? What de-motivates you?
Why do your current clients choose you?
Do your employees know what your goals are for the next year/5 years?
Who are your most valuable customers/clients? Why?
Can you give me profile of your typical customer/client?
How about your “perfect” customer/client? Are they the same? Why or why not?
What do your customers expect from you?
What would your customers/clients say your strengths are?
What do they like about doing business with your organization?
What are the top 5 objectives for the firm in the 1st quarter _____ year?
What is the perpetuation plan of the firm?
What are the top three most important things to the leadership of the firm?
How many new clients does the firm currently acquire each year?
What are the current acquisition costs per client?
Additional Challenge Questions (questions that uncover challenges)
Share with me your 3 biggest challenges and which is most pressing?
What issues are you currently experiencing? Why?
What barriers are in your way in solving these issues/challenges?
Who else do these challenges affect internally?
What are the biggest complaints you hear from your customers/clients?
Are they justified?
So what has prompted your interest in____? (this product/service or making this change?)
What is driving the need for change?
If you can achieve these perceived goals, what will that mean to you and the organization?
If you are unable, what will be plan B?
Dealing with an Incumbent
Would you share with me the ideal qualities in a relationship with a supplier/vendor?
How dos your ideal situation compare with your current one?
If it isn’t ideal, what have you done to address it?
Dealing with an Existing Customer/Client
What is it that you value the most in partnering with us/our organization?
In what ways are we helping you reach your goals?
In what ways can we improve?
What goals would you like to see us/me accomplish in the next 12 months?
Getting to their decision-making process
Can you walk me through the process that you use to make decisions?
What are the steps that your organization has to take to reach this type of decision?
Are there people in the organization that may resist this change and if so, how will you handle that? How can we tailor this message so that everyone will see it as a positive?
General Sales Interview Questions
Tell me about your last three days at work – beginning to end.
How many first appointments do you have each week?
What do you like and dislike about your sales process and why?
What do you like and dislike about the products or services you’re selling now and why?
What attracts you to the industry?
What are your long-term professional goals?
What do you do personally for your professional development?
What type of sales cycle is most rewarding to you? A long cycle for a big ticket item or a series of smaller, more frequent sales.
As a sales professional, what do you see as your primary and secondary roles within a company?
In your current position, how much time would you say you spend directly with prospects and customers through-out the sales day and what specifically do you do with them?
Describe a situation with a client or prospect where you made a mistake. How did you handle the error?
Describe a couple of instances, big or small, where you took a different tack in achieving an objective than was the company standard?
What sales skills do you think are most important to having success in sales?
What are your top three open-ended questions for initial sales calls?
In your current sales environment, describe the process you go through to qualify your prospects?
What is the largest group you’ve presented to (externally/ internally)?
How do you organize a presentation?
What do you like and dislike about presentations and why?
What do you see as the key issues in negotiating?
What do you see as the key skills in closing?
How would your present prospects and customers describe you as their sales representative?
Describe a time your company did not deliver on its product or service and how you responded?
Describe one or two of the most difficult challenges and/ or rejections you’ve faced in the past and how you responded. How many rejections do you take in a typical week?
How do you move forward from a string of rejections?
What would you say your one or two biggest failures or mistakes were? What did you learn from them?
What are some of the challenges you see that are facing this industry?
How would those with whom you work now, across all areas of the company, describe you and the work you do?
Describe a time you led a group of people, the primary challenges you faced and how you handled them?