Wether you just opened an account, just inherited an account, or have an account that you haven’t yet connected deeply with, questions are the simple key to unlocking the buyer and building business.
What is the best way to get in touch with you about pricing and deals?
When do you make your buying decisions?
How many wines do you like to taste in a meeting?
Are you looking for obscure, well known, or a mix? If it’s a well known wine are there particular brands you have a history with?
Can we get our meetings for the next quarter on the calendar right now?
What is your email address? What is the best phone number for you? Look here … did I spell your name right? (Note: always do this early on in a relationship. You don’t want to send emails for two years before you realize that Patricia really wants to be called Pat and actually spells it with two t’s.)
What are the names and contact info for accounts payable? Who do I talk to about invoices?
How can I outperform my competition?
What is the biggest challenge this year regarding wine? (How can I help solve it?)
What is the biggest challenge you see for the next eight weeks?
What defines success for you, outside of the obvious (greater sales)?
Can I help train your staff?
How do wines end up in your cold box?
Do you have spoilage with your BTG program? Do you toss out wine often?
What kind of stemware or wine preservation do you use?
What day of the week do all the other reps convene on you? (Can I meet you on a different day?)
Who is your favorite sales rep of all time and what did they do different from others?
Do you have time or interest in getting out for lunch to meet winery people?
What kind of wine do you personally like?
Tell me about your customers. How do they find the wines they like?
What can I do different to build my business with you?
Of course you don’t ask these all at once. That would be foolish. But challenge yourself to ask at least one or two with every account for the next week. You’ll be amazed at what you learn. (Remember what Zig Ziglar said: the greatest sound to many people is the sound of their own voice.)
One more thought …
Take note of how little you hear these questions being asked around you. The sales reps that ask them the best (and early in the relationship)? The ones from the biggest wholesalers. Their training emphasizes questions as a method of communication and relationship building. Take their lead, for they do it well.