Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: Digging Deeper With Our Questions

One of the most important concepts in the IMPAX Process is the Business Fit, which we define as, "How two companies, working together, can drive critical business outcomes in the form of the attainment of objectives, the implementation of strategies and the resolution of issues".

In order to determine the potential business fit, we have to have an understanding of the prospect's business direction and their POSI (Profile/Objectives/Strategies/Issues). Once we understand this, we can dig in to figure out how to help them to drive these key outcomes.

If we understand the customer's POSI at a general level, we will create general business fit statements; but when we dig deeper with our questioning, we can actually start to translate the business fit into financial terms. When this happens, the business fit becomes much more compelling.


Consider this example.

The prospect tells you that they have an issue with safety and must improve their safety situation. A well-intended salesperson may ask these types of questions:

  • "What is your current safety situation?"
  • "Why?"
  • "What are you doing to fix it?"

When we get the answers to these questions, we will be in a position to share a general business fit statement: "There is a strong business fit between our companies, and we believe we can work together to improve your safety situation."

What if we dug further with our research questions to gain more specific answers, by asking these types of questions (coupled with example answers):

Q: "What is your current safety situation?"

A: "We lost 100 work days due to safety issues last year."

Q: "What would you like it to be?"

A: "We need to cut this in half."

Q: "How do you measure the issue?"

A: "Each days costs us an estimated amount of $5,000 when direct and indirect costs are taken into account."

When we get the answers to these additional questions, our business fit statements can become more specific and more compelling:  "There is a strong business fit between our companies, and we believe we can work together to improve your safety situation and support your efforts to drive down safety-related costs by up to $250,000."


The difference between these statements is obvious, and is based on just a couple of additional questions. Digging even deeper can drive even stronger business fit statements.

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