Knowing the questions you’re going to ask before you arrive at the customer’s desk or get them on the phone is essential to a productive sales call. The information you can collect from the customer through asking targeted questions with increase your chances of putting together a winning proposal after you’ve made your consultative sales call. You won’t have the opportunity to ask all of the questions outlined below, but over time the information you secure will allow you to earn more and more of your customer’s business.
Some of our best questions are below:
What does your company specialize in? Manufacturing? Distribution?
What do you ship? In what quantities? Expedited? Truckload? LTL? Intermodal?
In what lanes do you ship, and how often?
What is the average value of each shipment? Would you be interested in our ability to purchase affordable shipper’s insurance?
What service level is required? To where?
How is your product packaged? Palletized? Shrink wrapped? What is the average weight of each shipment?
What is the normal pick up time? Do you have any unusual pickup requirements?
What is the frequency of your shipments?
What is your average monthly cost for freight transportation?
How do you feel about your current freight transportation service? Pricing? Efficiency?
Would you benefit from adding shipping services that are not available with your current broker, carrier, or 3PL?
What services would you most like to add? What is the benefit?
What is most important to you: service, stability, technology, or something else? Why?
What would cause you to begin using a different carrier or broker?
After asking some of the above questions, be sure to wrap up the appointment by asking for the next appointment and initiating a trial close. The trial close, something like “I’d like to prepare a customized program for your company. Would you be able to commit to giving us a shot to prove that we can offer the kind of service you need?” lets the prospect know that your next call will include more of a sales push. It prepares them to say “yes” when you come back later and ask them to buy.
Good questions lead to profitable answers!