5 Power Questions for Potential Partners
Now your job is to ask questions and listen closely to learn all you can about this person. These five questions will get your onversations going:
1. How long have you been in this line of work?
This is an easy, disarming question that is natural and comfortable to ask. What you are really looking to understand and evaluate is how much expertise they have in their field. Ask yourself if this is someone to which you would feel comfortable and confident entrusting your clients to. Once they have given an overview of their experience and expertise, you can ask the second power question, which is:
2. What do you like best about what you do?
This question is designed to uncover their WHY. What is their passion and purpose behind their profession? You are looking for their motivation beyond just the money. Ideally, they will share a client success story you can later retell to some of your clients when referring them to this person. Mostly though, you are trying to discern and decide if this person shares the same values that you do and would be someone you would trust to serve your clients. Once they have shared their WHY, simply ask power question #3:
3. How would you describe your ideal client?
This question will help you understand if you truly share the same Perfect Prospect Profile. If it sounds like they are describing your ideal clients, you know this is a great fit for a prospective partner. If not, you can still be good referral sources for each other from time to time. Either way, you should follow up by asking the 4th power question which is:
4. What would you say is your biggest business challenge?
The reason you want to ask this question is that for most professionals, the answer to this question is that they want
more prospects, more clients, and more business. If they
respond saying they need more clients, you’ve uncovered
a great opportunity to steer the conversation towards creating a strategic alliance and building your businesses together. First though, you should gain more information about their current business development efforts by asking the final power question:
5. Where do most of your clients come from?
Usually, the answer to this question will be referrals, at which point you can say something like:
“I’m glad to hear referrals are important to you. I work almost exclusively by referral which is exactly why I am here today.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m looking for quality people I can partner with to grow our businesses together. Based on what you shared about your business, you are defi nitely the type of person I’m looking to add to my trusted team of professionals to which I promote and refer my clients.
Just to give you a little more background on me….”
Now share some information about yourself and the services you provide that are most in alignment with what they shared their clients need. Then, share your Perfect Prospect Profile and Service Statement so they are clear on who you are looking to serve and how you help those clients solve their challenges and live better lives.
LinkedIn is a goldmine for creating new business opportunities. Especially if you are in B2B sales where businesses and business professionals are your perfect prospects.