In this episode, Joe shares his template for running a consultative sales process, offering a list of highly effective discovery questions that will help you build strong relationships with your clients and close more sales.
The Best Questions to Ask
How to Get Your Prospects to 80 to 90% of the Talking
Finding out What’s Worked and What Hasn’t Worked for Your Prospect
Defining Goals and Identifying Gaps
Asking for The Sale
one of the best question for me to ask an agency or social media marketing prospect, right. So if I have the opportunity, I'm in a meeting with them, or, you know, I send them an email, like, what are the main questions that I should be asking? And at the end of the day, if you're running any type of consultative sale, right, you should be asking, I believe, kind of nine core questions. And I believe that these nine questions are really like the foundation. And they're the basics to running a consultative sales process, right? So the the nine questions, if you will, and I'll take you through these. But you'll see that ultimately, at the end of the day, the goal is to get somebody that doesn't necessarily know us very well, they could be cold. They, they don't know a whole lot about us to at the end of the call, willing to fork up and invest some money in our in our coaching or training or marketing services. So the first thing that I like to do when I start out one of these calls, is I miss the prospect. What made them join the call, right? So whether I'm doing outreach, or whether they they've came to my website, they found me whether they're all referral, this question is good, because this question gets them talking. And this question turns the table a little bit, instead of them just grilling you from the get go, you're able to turn the tables and get them to really start opening up from the beginning of the conversation. And the consultative sales process should be 80 to 90%, your prospect talking and 10 to 20%, you talk understand that you're you're not going to make a sale in a consultative type of sales environment, if the roles are switched. Okay, so this can be hard. If you're not used to running a sales process, you can feel like you're talking way too much, guy, but you got to figure out some ways and some methods to turn the tables so to speak, to get your prospect to open up. And so this is this, this first question is a great way to set the tone and to get your prospect talking right away. Okay, so what made you join today's call, and typically, they'll be like, oh, I need help with my marketing, right? Or, or they'll say, you know, I really need a coach or I need help with my social media marketing, right? And I want to push upon you to keep asking why. And to keep asking why until this conversation kind of gets uncomfortable. Because as you keep asking why you're going to get closer and closer to the root issue, the root problem and the root and the root opportunity that you have, you're going to learn why it's important that the prospect solves the issue that they're coming to you for. Okay, so a very real example. I was on a consultation helping somebody with their SEO strategy. And at the beginning of the call, right, I started it off, like, what what made you reach out to me why, why are we having this conversation today about about SEO? And the first couple of questions is like, Oh, well, I need help with my SEO. It's like, well, why? Well, you know, my organic search presence isn't very good. Okay, well, why, right? And I just kept asking why. And it got awkward for a little bit. But by me asking why so many times I got to the root issue. Okay, so guys, the root issue is they had no organic presence, it was all paid traffic, and they're getting ready in the next 12 to 18 months to sell their business. And they want to be able to check the box that they have organic traffic, right. And that's part of kind of the the equation for them and the multiplier that they're gonna get when they go to sell the business. And so there were some other things that were important. They, their website kind of sucks, they need some help with that. They want some on page help, but really, at the end of the day, they just want their prospects that are interested in buying that business to be able to find them and kind of the major keyword search phrases. So I was able to figure out what makes this buyer tick. Simply by asking this this first question, what made you join today's call, right? What's the reason that we're on the strategy session? And then by me just keeping digging and asking why.
So the interesting part about this is because I kept asking Why I learned that they are trying to sell the business. So folks, if if somebody is trying to sell a business, and they're gonna be getting a multiplier on their traffic and revenue and sales, does this my help with marketing? Does that does does that help equate to a bigger buyout number? Right? Do my my services become more valuable or less valuable, they obviously become more valuable. Right. So not only do I understand what's making them tick, but now I understand that, I'm going to be able to charge a healthy premium for me helping them because they're getting a much bigger return than I had initially intended, or that I had initially thought on the investment that they'd be making with me. So then, like I start digging in. So what made you join today's call, we keep asking why until it gets super awkward, and we just can't do it anymore. Then Then I want to talk about advertising like or SEO, they're hitting me up for SEO specifically, or pay per click specifically, like my goal is to zoom out a little bit, like tell me, Mr. prospect, like what's worked in terms of advertising, tell me what hasn't worked. And again, the goal is to get them talking, and you're going to start to understand through these questions, what type of a prospect you have in front of you? Are they going to be a good prospect? They're going to be a good customer, they type the type of customer that you want, are you going to get along with them? Right? Like, do you want a relationship with them? And ultimately, at the end of the day, like these are all important things that you should know. And that you should be considering? In terms of qualification, right? Like, should I pitch my soul my service to these people? Right, or to the person that's on this call? So if you're talking with a prospect, and you're like, what's worked in your marketing, and they're like, nothing has worked? And you're like, what, how's it working there? Like everything? Is that a prospect that you really think that you should be pitching services to? Does that make sense? Is that a prospect that you think you should be pitching services to, you better be saying hell no least in the back of your head, right? If nothing's working, or has worked in terms of advertising, like you don't ever want to be a business's last hope. Right? Like, that puts way too much unneeded pressure and angst on your shoulders that you don't want to be dealing with. So then what we want to do is we want to identify the goal, right? And every business has goals. And if they don't have a goal, that there's a problem, right? Like, what's the goal for the next three months? What's the goal for the next nine months? Like, where are you guys trying to get like, what's the vision? And how are you guys gonna get there? If they don't have this, again, like, Is this really the best prospect for you? Like, they gotta have some goals, and they got to be able to conceptually talk about this, at least high level, they might not know exactly how they're going to get there. But they should be able to say like, my goal in the next three months is to add this many members or to increase our bookings per day to this amount, and this is what it's going to do for me, right? This is why if not, like, again, I want you to really challenge yourself in the prospect and really think in the back of your head. Is this the best use of your time? And is this the right customer? Right? Are they gonna quite literally, like fall out the back end mean, meaning like, quit as fast as they came in the front door, meaning like, you know, contacting you. And that's what you don't want for your business. If your agency, your social media marketing agency, your your traditional agency, your coaching business, if it can't keep customers, and they just turn, I got to tell you guys, there's there's nothing worse than that in the entire world, right? Like you're literally running on a treadmill, and getting nowhere. So then, like, once they give us that goal, we got to identify and we got to come up with a gap. Right, and what I mean is we got to get them to realize that they're not going to get to where they want to go
without something changing. Right, we need ideally, an agreement and a buy in from them. And it needs to be blatant, right? That they aren't going to get to their goal with what they're doing now. And that they obviously have to do something different or in addition, in order for them to get to their goals. Okay. Then ideally, the next step is we have to get the agreement that what you have to offer, whether it's a coaching offer, whether it's a training program, whether it's a done for you marketing service, that what you're doing is going to help them fill the gap between where they're at now and where they're trying to go. And it doesn't have have to be the only thing that's going to help fill the gap. It doesn't have to solve the entire gap so to speak, right, but you got to get them to agree that what you have is going to help them, at least start filling that gap. And if you've got that last piece, then it's time to ask for the sale. So depending on what you have, and how complex it is, right, that agreement that what you have is going to fill the gap like that time can differ, like that can be like five minutes to talk about that. Right? That could be 30 minutes to talk about that. And that really depends on how complicated what you sell is. It also depends on if if you've given any type of training content webinar, or any type of training on the front end, before they've gotten on that phone call with you or the strategy session with you, right. And it also depends upon the prospect, right? Like you can be selling the easiest thing to conceptually grasp and understand, right, and you can get stuck like you can get stuck there for 20 minutes to 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Just to get that breakthrough before you can finally ask for the sale. So as you keep running these strategy sessions, and you keep running them for the same types of products and offers, you're going to get better at question asking and knowing where to go in a conversation, to get to the end result faster, right to get to the gap faster, to get to the goal faster, to get them to really open up and explain their business, right. And so I need you guys to really think about this, this nine step process as a process and that you're not going to become an expert in the process overnight. But fundamentally, you can take these nine questions as a base, this can be the outline for your strategy session or for your consultative sale that you use to lead your prospect from being brand new and green and not knowing you from Adam, right to closing an hour later on the spot for 1000 To 3000 to 4000 $5,000 a month recurring residual, I want you guys to conceptually a good practice. If you're going to take this and start using it is think about the last time you had like a a meeting with a prospect. Right? And I want you to think about this outline, so to speak in these questions and this flow of a call because that's really what it is. And I want you to think about where your prospect got stuck. I want you to think about what didn't happen, right start to make a synapse start to make a connection between why a deal went well or didn't go well, based on this outline. And, and I think it'll really really help you guys take your closing skills to the next level.