It does make the difference to include, prior to the ending of a sales conversation or a sales pitch qualification questions.
What is the purpose of those questions? Do they really serve the goal that they claim?
Like most things in life, seldomly the stated reason reveals the real intentions.
Similar to a Venus flytrap, a very popular carnivorous plant, that attracts its victims with its beautiful colors and attractive sweet nectar, with the ambition to gain confidence and trust from its victims, analogically the art of communication from those that understand human nature and human interactions can be used to drive conversations to the desired outcome.
Part 1, the “prove yourself” card.
If you are so naïve to see behind the “qualification questions asked” question, just the need of the other person to obtain some objective information, then you fall into the trap set up for you.
Just the name “qualification questions” is a tricky one. Qualification questions for your product or service, or qualification questions for you? Because if you identify yourself with the product or service you are selling or even worst if you are the “creator” of it or of this business then maybe the qualification questions do not aim at your business but at you.
If that happens then the qualification questions are going to bring you to the position to try to rationally justify yourself and point out why the other person is wrong.
On a deeper level, you try to defend your product or service because you can not bear a sense of being criticized as it makes you feel unworthy, you try to prove yourself to others.
You built your product in the first place to be better than other ones in certain areas!
Part 2, the “let’s break the ice” card.
Especially nowadays where face-to-face communication has been replaced by Zoom online calls, web conferences, and telephone conversations, creating rapport and creating real human communication is the big loser. That is because it is more difficult to create this deeper level of communication that is needed between humans to proceed to a more elevated relationship, as the one of business partners or even a b2b commercial relationship.
Similarly, an intimate relationship between people requires time, require a date, the proper atmosphere, and the exchange of personal information, similarly even a business relationship needs a higher and deeper level of communication, that needs to be created, often in the first call.
The qualification questions provide the alibi on having a discussion with the intention to break the ice, communicate and have a conversation that probably is going to conclude to the participation to a discovery call or a second face-to-face meeting.
This communication simply needs to be there and a very good tool to bring the communication at this stage are the qualification questions.
Of course there is also the information to be obtained from those questions, which of course is important to understand certain aspects of the client’s business better, it can also be that certain specific questions are going to be real qualifiers to proceed in further talks or not, that, however, does not reduce the first 2 aspects of the use of the “qualification questions”.
The goal of a sales pitch on a B2B scenario, where more calls are going to be needed and usually a sales cycle of a couple of months or maybe, even more, is needed can not be sparked without creating a rapport with the prospect.
There are natural-born talents or certain specific situations where a rapport can be built almost automatically, almost out of nothing, it just happens that the chemistry is there or that the universe aligns and brings people together. That is however seldom the case.
A cold caller has a difficult life, and besides of the first 10 critical seconds where he tries to attract the attention of his/her prospect, the next challenging part is to create this connection that is going to “allow” the prospect to accept further discussions and investigations on the potentiality of a collaboration. Not an easy thing.
Always include qualification questions on your pitch even if the information obtained from them is not very valuable to you, they do in the end serve other purposes.
Communication is not only the exchange of words but also the emotions tied with them.