What type of questions should you be asking when you are sitting in front of a customer for the very first time?
Many sales people just talk and have no real idea about the correct type of questions to ask. Many pages have been written on this subject with all sorts of conjecture about the merits of open and closed questions. In my opinion these issues are not important. The real issue is to understand your customer, understand their business in detail. Find out where they have come from and where they are going. What problems they have and above all what those problems actually mean to them or their business. Have you a product or service that can solve those problems? Have you uncovered an explicit need from the customer with a wish to resolve the problem? I see far too many salespeople just talk and show what they have, describe features with a few advantages thrown in but no idea how to find out if their product could have any clear benefit to the customer. Remember the customer must acknowledge a product or service could be of benefit otherwise it is only an advantage. Advantages do not make sales only benefits do.