Effective Cold Calling Questions to Qualify
Sales Appointments

Effective cold calling for sales appointments questions stageSlide from Making Sales Appointments training course

Use effective cold calling questions to qualify your sales appointments and close more sales by only meeting with prospect's that can buy from you. 

  • Prepare the questions you will use to qualify prospects as someone you want to meet for a sales appointment.
  • Boost your conversion rates of appointments to sales by only meeting with qualified prospects that can buy from you.
  • Learn what questions to ask and how to ask them to make the most of your time on cold calls for sales appointments.
  • Clearly define the information you need to know.
  • Add this stage to your appointment setting process and fill your diary with qualified prospects.

The 4 Stages of a Sales Appointment Call Structure 

the 4 stages of effective cold calling to make sales appointments.Slide from Making Sales Appointments training course

I use a 4 stage structure in the sales training I present to corporate teams of appointment setters and sales people making their own appointment cold calls, 

It's simple, focuses the training on creating scripts for effective cold calling, and allows you to build your words around a structure proven to work. 

By using the 4 stages, any sales person or appointment setter can successfully use the training and customises their calls for their target markets and prospects.

The Questioning Stage, where you ask for information that qualifies the prospect as a potential customer, is Stage 3 of this process. 

Qualify Sales Prospects Using Effective Cold Calling Techniques 

Your objective at this Questioning Stage of the call is to discover if the prospect you’re talking to could buy from you and is therefore worth your time meeting. The Important word here is: Could.

Qualifying a prospect on a sales appointment call has nothing to do with whether or not they will buy from you. The objective is to Qualify the prospect as someone that could buy from you. Effective cold calling for sales appointments includes questioning to see which prospects could become customers. 

You qualify prospects in stage 3 of your appointment call and only move to stage 4, where you gain agreement to a meeting, with people that can actually buy from you. By doing this you are only using your valuable selling time on sales appointments where you can close the sale. 

Define a Qualified Sales Prospect

Now clearly define the criteria for your prospects to discover if they are potential customers. 

Before you can write you effective cold calling questions to qualify prospects on your sales appointment calls, you will need to define the criteria that a prospect must meet to make them a potential customer.  What does a prospect need to have or do to be able buy from you? 

This list will vary depending upon what you sell and it could include:

  • Credit scores, financial criteria, or payment related information.
  • Geographical location, home owner. physical ability.
  • Personal details, age, health, nationality, employment, or family status.
  • A specific need for a product or process, minimum order size.
  • Number of people at address, or number of employees in a business.

Whatever the definite, must have, requirements are, they need to be noted down on a list. Only list what a prospect must have, not what it would be nice for them to have. Not having one of the features on the list should disqualify the prospect as a potential customer and you should politely end the call without agreeing an appointment.

Create Your Effective Cold Calling Script of Qualifying Questions

When you’ve created your list of qualifying criteria the next step is to turn it into a list of effective cold call questions.

If you have several questions on the same topic you can group them together. This makes for a more conversational style of asking, rather than reeling off lots of short closed questions demanding yes or no answers. 

Work on the wording for any questions that may be sensitive, for example questions on financial matters, health, or family status. These may need phrasing tactfully. 

The list should be kept to a minimum as there is only so much time a prospect will give you on the phone. In the earlier Introduction Stage you used benefits in your reason for calling and again in Stage 2, the Motivator. A good sales tip is: The stronger the benefits you used in the earlier stages the more time the prospect will give you now because they can see the potential advantages for them.

Now check your questions

Will the questions give you all the information you need to qualify the prospects as someone you want to meet with? Are there any questions not absolutely necessary to qualify the prospect? Make this stage of the call as brief as possible. You only need to ask questions related to qualifying prospects as people you want to meet with. You don’t want to get dragged into a sales pitch on the phone, unless that benefits you. 

Once you’ve asked your sales appointment questions it should be easy to decide if the prospect qualifies as someone that you want to meet with. If they don’t, politely thank them for their time. If they do qualify move smoothly on to Stage 4: Gaining Agreement

The Stages of a Sales Appointment Call

Sales stages of a sales appointment call

The other stages of the sales appointment call process are listed below with links to each page so you can use them to build your sales appointment call script.

  1. The Sales Introduction Stage
  2. The Motivator Stage
  3. The Questioning Stage - This page 
  4. The gaining Agreement Stage 

Jump to the stage you want to see or go to the main page for the sales appointment section at: Appointment Setting 

Learn How to Make Sales Appointments 

Sales appointment training course

You can learn how to make sales appointments using effective cold calling techniques by investing in the professional course I used to train corporate appointment setters. 

Over 90 pages of step by step training, explanations of techniques, customisation of your calls, and an exercise program to build your own sales appointment scripts.

Use many times over to create new calls, constantly improve your results, and train others to do the same.

Already proven by the successful teams I have trained and managed for over 20 years, see what it will give you by visiting: Making Sales Appointments 

A Quick Way to Create Effective Cold Calling Appointment Scripts

Not ready for the full course on making sales appointments yet? 

Want a quick course to build a call script fast?

Quickly learn how to create a simple script for your appointment setting calls with the eBook mini-course Making Sales Appointments in a Nutshell.

It gives you a quick training course that's  easy to follow, so you get it in a nutshell.

See more information at: Making Sales Appointments in a Nutshell  Or, get the eBook now for just £9.97 and put the training into action today by using the button below.

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