Am I asking the right questions in meetings?

Once you have got a meeting with your potential customer, it is important to make the most of it by asking relevant questions.  By the time that you go to the meeting, you should have a reasonable idea of what the company is doing and what their possible problems might be.  This will allow you to develop a line of questioning to clarify these needs and to understand the cost to their business of them.

Always plan your questions in advance.  Clearly, you will ask more that just your planned questions but if you have your starting questions planned, you should be well prepared.  From there, you need to have a structure to your questioning.  Start by asking a question about a fairly broad subject and then narrow down your questioning from there.  

Ensure that your questions are open, opinionated questions at the start.  You want the customer to do far more talking than you do.  Open questions start with "who", "what", "where", "when", "how" and "which".  As you narrow down your focus, questions can be more specific, designed to establish key facts, so that you understand all of the implications of the matter in hand.  Ensure that you end with a value question - what is the impact of the problem on the customer's business.  This will help you to frame your solution and optimally price your proposal.

Two of our training modules may help:

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