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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.

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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. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
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