Example sales call

Sales callFor this example, let’s use an engineer salesman pitching a new stronger and lighter material than steel and he is focusing on landing a major aerospace account to kick the business off. The sections follow the list of questions from the post “Ask the right sales questions“.

Sales questions to ask yourself

  • Why would they ever accept a call from me?
    They are interested in using lighter materials to save weight in the airframes. Less weight means less fuel costs and more payload capacity.
  • Is my solution the best choice for them?
    Don’t know for sure at this point, but it certainly seems so.
  • Do I have high intent here?
    Absolutely, we could both benefit if this works out.

Sales questions to ask your prospect after cold call but before sit down meeting

Me: Hi Sally, I was hoping that you’d have a few minutes to talk about our upcoming meeting. I just want to make sure that I cover some of the high-level topics that you’re expecting me to cover. So what would be say the three key topics that you want to make sure I cover?

Prospect: Well, we really want to see property data showing how your material stacks up against what we’re currently using. Another important point would be price, we have to justify any cost increases with corporate, so we need to give them a heads up early in the process. Thirdly would be your ability to keep up with our production needs.

Me: Fantastic, you mention mechanical data, what properties most interest you and do you have any minimum values.

Prospect: Our main concern is tensile strength and low cycle fatigue properties and the minimum values are X and X.

Me: OK, sounds good so far, you also mentioned a cost justification – I’d like to start providing you with that information right from the start. Can you tell me a little about how you measure costs and what they typically are?

Prospect: We say that we only care about life cycle costs, but the initial purchase price is what really drives our purchasing decision.

Me: Hmm, I doubt that we’ll be competitive when the initial purchase price is the main purchase discriminator. Is there someone in your organization that we could invite to this meeting that could help explain how we could better position our life cycle cost advantages.

Prospect: I’ll ask our CFO to sit in.

Me: Alright, you also mentioned a concern about our production capacity. Valid concern. Do you have a feel for what your annual demand would be?

Prospect: We use about 10-tons of material and that should stay steady for at least the next five years.

Me: Well, as you know we’re a small company, but I think I’ll be able to adequately convince you that we won’t let you down when delivery time comes. Perhaps later in this process you and your team could stop in for a tour of our facility.

Me: I don’t want to take up much more of your time. Is there anything you think I should have asked you or anything else that you’d like me to prepare before our meeting?

Prospect: No, I think we’ve pretty much covered everything.

Again, I could go on and on with this example, but I think the main point should get across. You are feeding off of your prospect’s previous answers to fuel your follow up questions. Your goal is to understand their technical and business issues at least as well as they do.

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#1 Getting to true sales emotions | Engineers Can Sell on 02.17.09 at 1:45 am

[…] job as salespeople, is to ask the right sales questions in the initial sales call so that you know where my needs and pains really are.  My needs may be broad based (say life […]

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