3 Best Sales Questions to Ask Prospective B2B Customers
Sales Training
min read

3 Best Sales Questions to Ask Prospective B2B Customers

Creating a meaningful connection with a prospect is key to nurturing a future sale. Here are 3 questions that will fundamentally put a salesperson on a path to success.

Kayvon Kay
Kayvon Kay

January 30, 2024

3 Best Sales Questions to Ask Prospective B2B Customers

Best Sales Questions to Ask Customers Canada

This is perhaps the most misunderstood topic in sales team training and development. Cookie-cutter suggestions generally demand that salespersons pose a total of five questions to account for the 5 W’s of Who, What, Where, When, Why and sometimes How. On the flip side is the singular “Are you happy with your current (enter the name of product/service)?” that we’ve all experienced when dinnertime telemarketers come calling?

The problem with these off-the-shelf questions is that they don’t engage the B2B prospects who have heard it all. They read like a script (as they most often are) which can turn off a potential customer as quickly as the words “limited-time offer.” For sales questions to be effective in building trust and forming a relationship with the prospect within minutes or seconds of talking, a salesperson must tap into the pain that they (the prospects) are feeling and have the solution to this pain locked and loaded via the product or service offering. To help your team along, we have already defined three pain levels that they’ll have to work through in stages, which will align with the best sales questions to ask to ultimately close the deal. These include ego pain, intellectual pain, and emotional pain. The latter is the root of all closed deals. Below is a breakdown of the best sales questions to ask as they pertain to each level of prospect pain. Let’s review.

Three Examples of Specific Sales Questions that Will Build Trust and a Relationship with Your Sales Teams’ B2B Prospects

Question #1: “Who or What is Getting in Your Way of More Revenue?”

Pain Point: Ego Pain

Ego pain is the surface-level stuff that is often accompanied by paranoia. Prospects typically blame competitors for unethical practices or point the finger at a link in the marketing or operational chain for not doing its job. So on and so forth. As the saying goes, a salesperson needs to “pet the ego” to connect with a prospect during this stage of engagement. The question of “Who or what is getting in your way of more revenue?” allows the prospect to vent about what they perceive the issue to be, even if it’s not the real problem they are facing. This opens the door for further investigation between the salesperson and the prospect. 

Question #2: “How Much is This Problem Costing Your Company?”

Pain Point: Intellectual Pain

Intellectual pain is as it sounds. It digs into the details, often with hard numbers that the prospect now trusts (as per above) the salesperson to learn about. When they put a firm number, such as X-amount “wasted” on advertising, Y-amount “lost” in potential sales or other opportunity costs related to their business, the salesperson can then run an internal calculus on what their (the salesperson’s) product or service can solve for the prospect at the intellectual level. Once a salesperson has engaged the B2B prospect in the discussion about how they can fix their fiscal bottom line, a codependent relationship has been formed.

Question #3: “How is This Impacting You, Directly and Personally?”

Pain Point: Emotional Pain

As alluded to in the introduction, the root of closing a deal comes down to a salesperson’s ability to tap into a prospect’s emotional pain and show how they are there for them. Emotional pain references the consequences that the prospect faces if their problem is not solved soon. They may confide that their company (as applicable) could close down or their job (as applicable) is on the line. In showing compassion by relating to what they are feeling, they may open up even further as they discuss how the consequence of not achieving their business goals could bleed into their familial life and/or impact their mental health. By showing them that you can solve their ego and intellectual pain, you directly infer that your product/service offering is the saviour for their emotional pain too. Closing the deal from this stage is nearly a foregone conclusion. 

The three questions above provide a great guideline for your team to apply to their B2B sales practices. However, the strategy must be executed with great care, or it can come off as inauthentic and backfire. Your team will benefit from a deeper dive into examples of how to engage prospects in such a manner, along with other proven methods. Unlock your team’s potential by offering them high-impact education, skills refinement, and habit creation that will make them unstoppable. View more on our sales training and development program, and/or reach out today for a consultation.

Kayvon Kay

Kayvon Kay

Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.

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