7 Questions to Ask When Selling to a New Customer

We all want new customers, so what can we do to increase the likelihood that we close the deal?

Sales, ultimately, is about providing a product that your customer values and will pay for. In order to find out what they value, you first have to understand their needs. When you’re starting off a new relationship with a customer, the first conversation shouldn’t just be “here’s my pitch”. It needs to be about asking the customer questions that help you understand if your product fits their needs. As you know, this isn’t a one time sale. It’s a real relationship, so it’s in your best interest to ensure you’re taking on the right customers for your business.

For example, if sitting down with a potential customer ask them, “what interested you enough to give me your time today?” Try to understand if there’s anything specific they’re looking for. Ask what they don’t like about their current supplier, and what they absolutely love about their current supplier. Ask them, “In a perfect world, what would your relationship with your supplier be like?” It may seem a bit forward, but the customer should actually appreciate this level of diligence. It shows you know your business, and it tells them that if you know the right questions to ask, you’ll also likely know how to service them well. Ultimately, here are some of the things you’re looking for:

  1.  What are their product needs?
  2.  How many times will they be ordering per week or month?
  3.  What will their approximate average order be? Is that amount meaningful?
  4.  Do they agree to your payment terms?
  5.  What objections are they most likely to raise?
  6.  How do you overcome those objections and close the sale?
  7.  Who has to approve the decision before they start buying from you?

Of course, one of the first things you might want to ask is, “Do I want this customer?” Given what you’ve learned in your early conversation with them, it’s possible that they’re not a good fit for your business, and that’s ok. You can’t be all things to all people- nor should you want to. If you do want the customer, proceed to make sure you know the answers to the above questions prior to kicking off your relationship.