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SMARTER Questions Checklist – Instant Sales Guides

Part of the Instant Sales Guides series ©

The SMARTER Question Checklist

For a detailed description of what SMARTER questions are, and why they are a great aid to selling, please visit the website page.  Here are some examples, and as they have to be specific to a customer, I have used examples that IT sales people can relate to – but these are easily modified for other industries.

Strategic Customer
(i.e.: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operational Officer, VP Sales, etc…anyone who has a strategic focus)

☐ What are your top 2/3 priorities for the coming year?
☐ What do you have to accomplish this year in order to be successful?
☐ What challenges will you have in getting there?
☐ What is the worst thing that could happen if you don’t achieve these goals?
☐ How will technology support your strategy?
☐ How could it hinder it?
☐ How will you beat your competition?
☐ How will you succeed given the current state of the market?
☐ What, in your opinion, can we do to contribute to your success?
☐ What types of solutions would we have to be working on now in order to be a viable partner for your company next year, and why?

IT Manager (or influencer for network)
☐ What are your 3 most important criteria in choosing a server?
☐ If you could improve one thing about your current network operation (relationship with us, server setup, storage, etc…) what would it be? Why?
☐ What effect would that have?
☐ In order to help design the best networking solution for you and your company could you describe your growth plans for this year?
☐ What impact will those plans have on your department?
☐ What will it take for you to be successful this year?
☐ So that I can get a better idea of what is most important to you, what are your top 2-3 goals for this year?
☐ What are the potential obstacles you face in getting there?
☐ What impact will it have on your organization if you can’t achieve these goals?
☐ What specifications will your system need to have to meet your goals?
☐ What would the ideal communication between us look like?  What impact would it have on you if I were not able to meet those expectations?  What options would be acceptable to you?
☐ What will be important to you in implementing your IT strategy?
☐ What would your ideal network look like?  How would that differ from today?
☐ What impact does that have on your company? Time, cost etc…
☐ What benefit would there be to solving that problem?
☐ What plans do you have in place to make improvements?
☐ What is your company’s growth plan?  How does that affect you and your department?
☐ I want to make sure that you are able to access information and reach me when it is convenient for you. What would be the best way to accommodate your schedule?
☐ Who, besides yourself, will be involved in making the decision
☐ If you could implement your current infrastructure again, what would you do differently?
☐ What are the 2/3 key issues that this project must address to be considered successful by the business?
☐ What is the impact on your business if this project deadline is missed?
☐ What business issues are driving the project timescales?
☐ Looking at our solution, what things we can do differently to better meet your needs?
☐ To ensure we match your needs, can you give me an idea of the budgets involved?
☐ How will you measure the success of the project, what does it mean to you personally?

Try developing your own SMARTER questions and use 2 or 3 in every customer conversation – please comment if you have any feedback – note that you can download a printable pdf version of the guide together with more information regarding SMARTER questions from the instant sales guides tab.
This entry was written by John, posted on June 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm, filed under Sales Guides and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

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