Social Selling Tips of the Week: Asking All the Right Questions

Find out how and why to ask your prospects the right questions for better sales conversations.

July 15, 2016

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Knowledge is power. That sounds like a cliché, and it is—in reality (brace yourself for another cliché), not all knowledge is created equal. The sales professional who reads every blog and periodical isn’t necessarily more successful than the one who asks the right questions.

As we’ve said time and again, buyers do more research than ever before reaching out or making a purchasing decision—but are sellers (i.e., you) keeping up? Your prospects certainly wish you could read their minds and fulfill their every need efficiently. Unless you’ve got superpowers, the next best thing is asking the right questions and doing good research.

This week’s top tips for social selling and sales success are about asking the right questions and getting to know your prospect. Let’s dive in.

Advancing the Sales Process with Questions

The first post of the week is more of a why than a how-to. Deb Calvert makes a great case for why you should ask your prospects more sales questions. Essentially, it’s about meeting buyer demands.

By asking great questions you can find out what they value, build rapport and trust, challenge them to think in new ways, and keep you and the buyer aligned throughout the process. I’d say the value of asking these questions almost speaks for itself, but if you disagree, than Calvert’s post will change your mind.

Living Up to Your Prospects’ Expectations

Our second selection of the week begins with a quote that typifies the problem: “How well do you know your online buyers? Probably not as well as they know you.” Wise words from Matt Reid. His piece this week summarizes just how much research buyers are doing before they speak to you, and what they expect in return.

According to Reid, they expect a prompt, well-informed response. This particular expert recommends preparing at least three facts about your prospect that you will actually use when speaking to them.

Preparing Before You Engage

We love a good checklist, and Leslie Ye doesn’t fail to provide. Her post this week is a list of what you should know before calling a prospect. Your prospects care about: “Whether you can help them, that you care about their problems as much as they do, and whether the recommendations you make are feasible and implementable.”

In order to show them you know what matters, you must know some of the following: their job title, their career trajectory, common connections, and recent company announcements. There’s plenty more, of course, and you’ll find it spelled out by checking out this leading advice.

Engaging with InMail

You’ll never get a chance to ask the right questions if you don’t kick off a conversation in the first place. While you probably know that cold emails aren’t effective, you might not understand the best practices for alternative methods.

One of the best ways to reach out to a new prospect is through LinkedIn’s InMail. While moving beyond the email inbox already helps you stand out, crafting a strategic message can increase your response rate even more. Fortunately, the new LinkedIn InMail Kit is here with insights, best practices, and tips to gain a clear competitive advantage. Download the kit for free here.

As we said from the start, knowledge is power. Asking your prospects the right questions, listening to their answers, and preparing for your conversations are powerful ways to equip yourself for sales success.

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