Sales Questions for First Conversations

I just read Emma Snider's article 22 Tweetable Quotes From Linda Richardson's "Changing the Sales Conversation"

Here's what I like about Emma. Some bloggers write about how wonderful they are. They give their perspective on how to do something that they've never done. They're pretending to be experts. Emma hangs out with experts and shares their best stuff. You can read Emma's article here, but come back to see how I approach first conversations.

So, did you notice the emphasis on prospect rather than product? Did you catch that trust is huge? Did you catch that knowing the right questions may be more important than the answers?

Let me share some of my favorite questions when I reach out to a prospect the first time?

How long have you known Pete? (FYI, Pete put us together.)

Are you friends-friends, business friends, cluents, advisors...?

What were you and Pete talking about when he suggested that we talk?

Why did he suggest that we talk?

Has Pete made good suggestions in the past?

What have you tried?

HHMMM. I have some more questions and it sounds like you might have some for me, but I know that this call wasn't really scheduled. Would you like to ask me questions now, or would it be better to schedule an hour in the near future that we can plan for?

end of call

What if it's an inbound lead? Easy Peasy!

Hi, I was looking for David Weinhaus.

This is David.

Hi, David. It looks like you registered to attend the Referral interview next week. Did you get the link and everything?

Yup. Everything worked great.

Perfect, would it be OK if I ask you one quick question?


As you know, we'll be talking about the relationship between inbound marketing and referrals and how they can help each other. Which is more improtant to you? Getting more referrals or using referrals to grow your inbound marketing results?

(David's answer here.)

Cool. What are you hoping to see?

end of call

OK. I know. I know. These examples assume that you either have a referral or an inbound lead and they may not apply to cold calls. Welcome to the 21st Century! If you don't have enough referrals or inbound leads and/or they don't feed each other, you will love Emma's article on Monday. The topic is How to Get Referrals.

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