Break the ice and get some messaging insight.
While it can be tempting to dive right into your pitch, most conversations are more effective with a little informal warm-up, particularly if the warm-up questions you ask can also lead to some valuable intel.
You don’t want to waste the buyer’s time (hence our second suggested question below), but you do want to gain some insight into how to steer the rest of the conversation.
Top Sales Warm-Up Questions
“Why’d you take my call?” or “Why’d you open my email?”
This is obviously quite an open-ended question, but it can lead to some of the most insightful answers from your prospects.
“What needs to happen to make this call/email worth your time today?”
This tactical question obviously has the short-term goal of helping you determine an initial call/email outcome that will lead to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. But it also helps build long-term rapport with your prospect by showing that you value their time.
“Why isn’t your particular solution (and/or process) working for you?”
Your prospect’s answer will give you some idea of which specific benefits of your offering you should highlight — which will resonate most with the prospect and be most likely to move them to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
“How’d you hear about us?” or, if this is an outbound conversation, “Had you heard of us before we spoke?”
If they answer that they already know of your company, it’s an anecdotal data point about which of your marketing channels has been effective at raising their awareness. And, depending on how specific their answer is, it may also provide a data point on the effectiveness of a particular message, which you can build on throughout your sales process.