• Vince Bowry

13 Sales "Ice Breakers" to get the conversation going

A few days ago I found myself in a common situation.

I was reviewing some software and I scheduled a discovery call for a CRM solution that I was thinking of subscribing to. By the way, I love to be sold.

On the call, the sales rep spent 5 minutes explaining their software to me, reading all of the benefits line by line, explaining the features and telling me all about how their customers are benefitting from their solution, without ever asking me what problem I am trying to solve.

As time passed, I found myself checking emails and beginning to drift off as the sales rep was relentless in their pursuit of ensuring that I understood the intricacies of the back end of their software, which I had no interest in.

I just want to know if they could solve my problem.

I've been told that "telling ain't selling!"

As mentioned in our earlier blog - Effective Meetings, it's not about selling... it's all about providing a level of customer satisfaction that delivers increasing amounts of value over time, creating a natural growth in base-product use, piquing interest in new solutions, and developing a real partnership between you and your customers.

Effective sales communication is not about reading a feature sheet. It's about;

  • understanding your customer

  • understanding their business

  • uncovering the problem that they are trying to solve

  • aligning your solution with their problem to alleviate their challenges

Sounds pretty simple but it is difficult to embed into daily practice without the right framework.

In no particular order.... here are my 13 Sales "Ice Breaker" Questions that I have used to better understand if and how my solutions can solve the problem(s) of my prospects and customers.

  1. How did you hear about us?

  2. What's keeping you busy nowadays?

  3. What is on the top of your "to-do list" in terms of projects and initiatives?

  4. What tools and resources are you using to reach these goals?

  5. What do you want to see happening that isn't happening today?

  6. What are the top challenges that you are trying to overcome this quarter/year?

  7. Why have the challenges that you mentioned bubbled to the top and taken priority over others? What about the barriers to solving these challenges?

  8. What strategies have you tried so far? How did that work out? Who was involved?

  9. Where did the problem originate?

  10. If there was an unlimited budget, what resources have at your disposal to solve the problem?

  11. How do you measure the success of your initiatives?

  12. What are your ideal outcomes? What would success look like for you, personally and in your role?

  13. Who else would be involved in any changes at your organization? Who makes the final decision?

Mix and match these into your discovery calls more effective.

Vince Bowry is the Founder of Eduthink. For more information on our solutions, contact us.