Simple Prospecting Sales Questions from the Pros

Aaron Ross is the Author of nest-selling book "Predictable Revenue" ( During this video he shares simple prospecting sales questions from the pros. These tips will help you create a comfortable sales environment.

  1. Start friendly: "Did I catch you at a bad time?"
  2. Request help: "If you were me, how would you approach the organization?"
  3. Engage them: "May I ask how you're handling ____ today?"
  4. Make it easy: "Do you have your calendar handy?"


I’ve probably made I don’t know how many thousand of calls myself and taught people how to make 10’s or 100’s of thousands of calls but there’s a few really simple really effective questions I found work when you’re-- it’s not a cold call. When you’re calling on companies either where you don’t know anyone or whether you know someone but you don’t know them very well because you’re still getting to know them.

So here’s the first one and in fact you can use this question on any call, friends, family, clients, this is my favorite question period. The question is “Did I catch you in a bad time?” all right. That’s the first thing you ask. Here’s why I love it. It really just--you’re asking permission to talk to them. People hate being surprised and by asking “hey did I catch you in a bad time?” it really defuses any kind of defensiveness and like more often than not they say “yeah but what can I do for you?” “What do you want?” and it just starts the conversation off in a very friendly foot and you’re being very respectful.

So the second one is, just asking for help with this simple question. So let’s say the scenario is you’re talking with someone and it’s at a company you’re trying-- they’re not the right person. You’re trying to-- you’re a little bit lost. You’re trying to figure out where to go and get some-- you’re stuck. So just ask the person you’re talking to. Again you’re being very respectful and friendly.

If you were me how would you approach your organization? You’re asking for help. People love to help. So again if you’re honest about it they will give you advice. Oh you should, you know, I would go over here. Talk to this person. I would, you know, but you will get advice that way. Now say you’re talking to someone, you know, you’re getting conversation going and you’re a little bit stuck how to start the conversation. Here’s my favorite question for starting a conversation with somebody.

After you’ve done a brief intro it’s, you know, may I ask-- can I ask you how you’re handling whatever today. So how--ask you how you’re handling your marketing today or your e-mail campaigns or can I ask how your sales teams are structured. It’s a general enough question but specific enough to help them talk about their business because people love talking about their businesses.

Now the last question I have here is okay you’ve talked. You want a next step. It’s just a really friendly way to set up a next step. Do you have your calendar handy? It’s, you know, very friendly. If they don’t have the calendar handy you can’t schedule something anyway and if they do have it handy what they always say is yeah I have it handy, you know and then you say okay well let’s talk about what to do next. So what I found is just having a few really simple questions to ask that feel good to you to ask them also makes it feel good for them to be asked and just makes it really easy to have a great conversation with someone who may not even really know you very well.