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7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Reaching Out to a Fresh Lead

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Fellow sales enthusiasts! We all know that reaching out to a new prospect can be a make-or-break moment in business. To ensure you make the best impression and increase your chances of success, here are 7 essential questions to ask yourself before you reach out and dial that number or hit send on that email.

1. How much authority does your prospect have?

Before you reach out to a potential client, it's important to know how high up they are in their company. In simpler terms, are they a high-ranking decision-maker, or do they occupy a mid-level position? This information serves as your guiding light, helping you tailor your approach effectively.

Think of it like this: If you're on a road trip, knowing the seniority level is like figuring out who holds the steering wheel. If it happens to be the superior, you might need to take a different route compared to if it's an individual with a mid or lower position within the organization.

High-ranking executives typically have the authority to approve purchases and sign contracts swiftly. If you're aware of this, you can tailor your engagement accordingly.

So, before you initiate contact, take a moment to evaluate your prospect's seniority. It's the first step in ensuring a productive and respectful interaction.

2. Who has the final say or approval over your prospect’s work?

You need to know who has the power to say yes to your offer early in the process. Get everyone who has a stake in the decision on board from the start. This is key for a smooth sale. If you’re not sure who they are, you can find out from your prospect when you talk to them. Here are some questions that can reveal the main decision-makers:

  • "Are there specific teams or departments that need to be involved in evaluating and implementing a solution like ours?"

  • "Is there anyone else you would recommend I speak with within your organization to gather more insights or discuss the potential benefits of our solution?"

These questions help you understand your prospect's authority without making them feel uncomfortable or questioning their position. You want to make sure you're focusing your efforts on prospects who have the final say in purchasing decisions.

3. Do they have budget authority or control?

To ensure a smooth sales process, it's essential to find out who holds the purse strings at your prospect's company. If the person you're in contact with doesn't have control over the budget, you'll need to utilize your relationship with them to connect with the key decision-makers who do.

Understanding who controls the budget is vital because it helps you identify the individuals with the authority to approve purchases. By leveraging your existing connection, you can effectively engage with the right people who have the power to make decisions and move things forward.

4. Do you reach out to your prospect or search for an opportunity?

Before making a call, define your objective clearly. Whether you're talking to a decision-maker or an influencer, understanding your goal is essential. Are you aiming for a commitment, gathering information, or introducing your offering? This clarity directs your conversation and message.

Know your prospect's role, especially their influence on the decision. If they hold the power, emphasize value. If they're an influencer, seek their support. Setting a clear goal ensures purposeful interactions, helping you progress toward your desired outcome with every conversation.

5. Can your prospect advocate or promote you internally?

Can your prospect become your ally within their organization? This is a critical consideration because having an advocate on the inside can be a game-changer.

In simpler terms, think of it like having a friend in a new city who can show you around and introduce you to the right people. In the business world, this internal champion can do the same, but for your product or service within their company.

Sometimes, there can be internal roadblocks to a sale. An internal advocate can help navigate these challenges and keep things moving forward.

Before reaching out, consider: "What motivation would prompt this person to invest their time with me?" If no compelling reason is apparent, endeavor to articulate one before initiating contact.

6. How much time has your prospect spent in their role?

How long has your prospect held their position, and how might this impact their receptiveness to new ideas?

In our journey of discovery, it's important to recognize that the length of time someone has been in their role can influence their perspective and approach. This applies particularly to the dynamic between new leaders and seasoned professionals within an organization.

Generally, the longer someone has been in their role, the deeper their understanding of their organization's inner workings, pain points, and priorities. So, before you initiate contact, take a moment to consider how long your prospect has held their current position.

This insight can provide valuable context, helping you understand whether they might be more open to new ideas and approaches or if they tend to prefer the tried-and-true methods.

7. Do they have a good reputation inside their organization? Do they have leverage?

What's the scoop on your prospect's reputation within their workplace? How does your prospect fare in terms of their standing within their organization? are they well-respected, and do they possess significant influence among their colleagues and superiors?

Imagine you're picking a team for a game, and you want the player who can rally everyone and make things happen. Well, in the business world, these influential prospects can do just that – they can make things happen.

The more you know about your prospects, the better equipped you are to tailor your pitch and meet their needs.

Before you embark on a journey, you study the map and plan your route. Similarly, before contacting a prospect, you research and prepare to ensure your conversation hits the mark.

So, remember to ask yourself these key questions and do your homework. It's your recipe for tailoring your conversation effectively and steering it towards a successful close.

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