Thursday, June 10, 2010


Ask the Magic Question

Is there a sure-fire way to generate interest from each and every B2B lead you contact? There sure is, says Neil Baron, writing at the Fast Company blog: Just ask the Magic Question.

"The Magic Question is that one question you need to ask to get the prospect to say 'please tell me more,'" Baron explains. "The trick is to generate curiosity quickly.

"A typical Magic Question, Baron says, starts with a story that takes this form:
  • "My company has developed (a new product [or service]) that has helped (a leading company in the customer's industry) achieve (the following important business benefits

It then "goes in for the (sales) kill" by asking:

  • "Would you like to learn how we did it?"

"If [the question is] phrased properly, the prospect can't help but say yes," Baron says. And that's always good news: "You have now grabbed their attention and gained their implicit permission to continue to ask more exploratory questions.

"So, how do you fill in the blanks in the MQ format to fit your business? "Developing effective Magic Questions requires close cooperation between Sales and Marketing," Baron advises. He says Marketing must provide:
  • A clear description of what you want Sales to sell

  • References that are respected by your prospect

  • Concisely stated business benefits delivered by your solution that you know will resonate with your prospects

Finally, Baron notes, Marketing must ensure that sales reps are properly educated to "drive the conversation further and accelerate the sales cycle" once the prospect is hooked by the Magic Question.

The Po!nt: Formulate it and pose it. "Over the years, I've learned that initiating the sales process by asking a single attention-grabbing, curiosity-raising question is the most effective way to accelerate revenues," Baron concludes.

Source: Fast Company. Read the full post.

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