October 25th, 2013 Posted in Business, Entrepreneurs, Coach, Coaching, Mentors | No Comments »
7 Questions to Ask When the Corporate Coaching Prospect Calls YOU!
Hurray! A corporate coaching prospect has called YOU!
They are interested about a new program or project… and it requires immediate attention! What’s their request? For you to provide a proposal or cost estimate, or perhaps to even meet with them in person. And… they need this to happen ASAP.
So you spring into action… yes?
Without the answers to a few key questions, not only will it be impossible for you to know what this client really needs, but you may also find yourself jumping through hoops for nothing. You need to follow a brief framework by asking questions.
Here are 7 questions to ask before you do anything:
1. “What triggered this project or initiative?” or “Why, at this particular point in time, did you decide that this change or effort was essential?” Listen closely to what they say, and trust your gut. Does their explanation make sense?
2. “What’s the business case for the change or project? And what’s driving the deadline?” This question is designed to “dig deeper.” If your services cost a lot of money, or what you offer is time-intensive on the part of the client, then there must be a pressing business driver that compels them to move forward. Without that, it’s likely this effort will go nowhere.
3. “What are the goals of the program, project or initiative?” or “How will you determine if this program is a success?” Sometimes what a client thinks they need versus what they really need are two different things entirely. Although this isn’t a true needs assessment, it will give you tremendous insight and begin to establish you as a trusted partner.
4. “How have you been addressing this up until now? Have you been managing it internally? Or have you been working with another service provider?” This seemingly innocent question will, among other things, tell you how serious they are — or are not — about working with you.
5. “What’s making you consider a switch from your current vendor?” I know asking this might sound abrupt – but in my experience no company actually wants to switch outside service providers because, quite frankly, it’s a pain. Unless they have a motivated reason you may be wasting your time.
6. “Is there anything that would stop you from moving forward with this project?” Although no one in corporate can predict what will happen tomorrow, this question will bring to light any red flags.
7. “Is there anything else you can share with me about the initiative or project?” Don’t be surprised if the prospect says, “No, not really…” and then proceeds to tell you something VERY important! (Hint: Let them talk; the key here is not filling any silent pauses.)
Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to find out what’s behind a prospect’s interest in your services. Not only is it better to find out early on if they are just kicking tires, but you’ll also be able to better meet their needs if you understand what it is they are truly trying to accomplish.
Prepared by Benjamin Croft, Founder and President of The World Business and Executive Coach Summit (WBECS), who has gathered the world leading experts, thought leaders, strategists and specialists in the Business and Executive Coaching Industry calling upon hundreds of years of collective experience within the industry.