A good salesperson comes to every call with a list of pre-prepared questions written out, to kick off the dialougue and get the prospect talking. However, they also have the ability to recognize when they should set their list aside, and follow the prospect down an unexpected conversational turn. A little off-roading can be extremely enlightening, not to mention critical for building rapport.
But abandoning the list entirely is not recommended. So how can a salesperson recognize the difference between the questions they can feasibly skip over vs. the ones that absolutely need to be asked?
The below SlideShare from Heather R. Morgan at Salesfolk contains the five fundamental questions salespeople need to ask each and every prospect they speak with. Before your next exploratory call, write these five questions at the top of your list and circle or highlight them to ensure you get the answers you need -- no matter where the conversation goes.