It’s been a while since I’ve shared my “10 Questions to Book More Business” blog post, and I thought it was time to revisit it. These questions are designed to help you qualify prospects and determine whether the two of you would be a good fit for working together. Time is precious, so it’s important to be as effective as possible when selling.
Reminder: to fully qualify a prospect, you need to TALK. You can’t qualify by email, social media, or text. When you get a decision maker on the phone or zoom:
- Open with your positioning statement. (Chapter 3 in Book More Business: MAKE MONEY SPEAKING). When you do this well with a fabulous PS, you’ll establish your authority, status, and aid in building your credibility.
- Explain why you’re reaching out to them. “I’m reaching out to see if one of my programs may be a good fit for any upcoming meeting”.
- Go right into qualifying by asking question number one below.
Lois’ Ten Questions
- Does your company use paid, professional speakers at their meetings? I say paid because many use speakers, not all pay. If you’re only looking for paying engagements, you’ll want to know this answer right away.
- How is the decision made regarding speakers? I’m asking the person I’m speaking to confirm he/she is the sole decision maker. If someone else is in on the decision, offer to talk to them, send information to them. (For more about finding decision makers, see Chapter 17 of Book More Business: MAKE MONEY SPEAKING).
- Who have you used in the past? This may give you an idea of what topics they have historically used and how much they have paid for this information. Note: If you don’t listen carefully to what your clients are telling you about their business and current situation, you’ll have no way of understanding if you may be a great fit with solutions that will give them results that they need in their business. This is where you may want to ask what their biggest challenge may be, what they feel they need help in at this time to stay ahead of their competition, etc.
- Do you have a specific program date? Pretty obvious what we want here. Unless they can give you a date, their plans may not be cast in stone.
- When do you begin to plan your meeting? Great to know when the meeting is, but just as important to know when plans are made so we can make sure we are talking to them at the optimum time for getting the booking. If a decision maker is not actively planning a meeting, odds are they don’t want to talk about choosing speakers.
- Where will the meeting be held? I’m looking to see if I may create a competitive advantage for myself. For example, I live in St. Louis. If the meeting is going to be in Chicago, my expenses would be very reasonable. If they are deciding between me and a speaker in LA, I may get the job based on travel. You never know. Any time you can give yourself an advantage, take it!
- Is there a theme or focus on this meeting? Again, obvious.
- Is there a budget I should be aware of? Here is the money question! We need to bring up fee! You are not adequately qualifying if you leave a conversation not knowing whether they can pay your fee.
- What type of meeting is this? Is it quarterly, annual, semiannual? We want to find out how many opportunities a year this prospect may have to hire us.
- Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you would like me to know about your meeting? This is a good closing question. Listen carefully to the answer. You may hear sales objections, challenges, etc.
Don’t ask the wrong question! Specifically, never say, “So tell me a little about yourself and your business. This will label you as an amateur!
I’m a big believer in target marketing. When you do, you go into every qualifying conversation knowing a lot. You will already be aware of what’s going on in their marketplaces.
If you have the answer to these questions, you should be able to quantify the likelihood of whether you’ll ever fit into this prospect’s plans.
That’s it! 10 questions that will move you from prospect to client! Now go do some productive prospecting!
Copyright 2022, Lois Creamer, Book More Business. Lois Creamer works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and monetize their message! She can be reached in the following ways:
For more information check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com
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