3 Questions NOT to Ask a Prospect

In this week’s post, I’m going to share 3 questions not to ask a prospect if you want to get better sales results. Hit play on the video or keep reading!

One of the worst questions you can ask someone is:

“Are you the decision maker?”

When you ask this question, the natural response for anyone is to think about their own self-importance when giving an answer. No one wants to look as though they don’t have any influence or power of the decision that’s made and therefore your prospect is likely to respond with ‘Yes, I am’.The problem is, however is that if that person is not the decision maker and you get to the point of closing the deal, they’re likely to distance themselves from you and be difficult to reach because they don’t want to admit to not being the decision maker!A better way to phrase the question would be to ask:

“Is there anyone else involved in making the decision alongside yourself?”

This enables the prospect to open up about who else might have some control of the decision made and helps you understand who else you need to be engaging with in order to bring the deal across the line.

One of the other questions not to ask a prospect is:

“What is your budget for this project?”

If you think about the last time you made a big purchase, if you had been asked what your budget was, would you have told the salesperson exactly how much money you had in your pocket? Unlikely. You haven’t yet built up trust and rapport with the person and therefore you’re unlikely to open up about how much you are looking to spend.

A better way to ask this question is to say something like:

“Typically, the budget range for a service of our type ranges from X to Y, how does that fit in with your budget plans?”

By asking the question in this way, you are able to see whether your price fits in with their budget plans and you can also watch for signals they are giving you to get a better sense of what they are really thinking. (Check out these buying signals you shouldn’t ignore) Asking this question also gives you the flexibility to up-sell or down-sell to your prospect later down the line, as opposed to having to stick to the price they have told you they’re looking to spend.

The last of my 3 questions not to ask a prospect is this:

“What is your problem?”

This question comes across quite aggressively and although you don’t mean it in this way, your prospect is likely to put their guard up and not want to open up about their problems.

A better way to phrase the question would be:

“How big of an impact is this issue having on you and the way in which you operate?”

What this enables the prospect to do is share with you how much their issue to affecting them, without you putting them under pressure and making them feel as though they have a problem!

These questions are all related to the BANT model (budget, authority, need and time). You’ll notice that the only one I haven’t mentioned here is Time.

Asking a question like:

“Do you have a timeframe in which you’d like to get this issue resolved?”

Will help you get to the bottom of when your prospect would like to implement your product or service without making them feel like they have to give you an exact date on the spot.Always think about the way in which you are wording your questions in order to get the response you want. Be direct but don’t interrogate your prospect. Ask open ended questions and work on building trust and rapport and you will see better sales results.
Below, you can download my 42 questions to ask a prospect which will help you qualify your prospects and bring them over the line!


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