1. What makes you different from the competition?
Using phrases like "While other firms may do such- and-such, we take the approach that ... " or "Unlike most of our competition, we choose to ... " Think about how you are better than the competition and then talk about it in sales letters, on your website, etc.
How to answer before it's asked: A website or sales proposal page entitled "Our Difference" allows you to spell out what makes your firm unique.
2. What can I expect if I engage with you?
Your prospects will want to know what kind of process you follow when engaging with customers. The more information you give in the beginning, the stronger foundation you will lay for a great client relationship - especially if what you say will happen actually does!
How to answer before it's asked: Consider a "What to Expect" page on your web site and/or sales proposals.
3. How can you help us?
Every firm should ask how their clients are better off after working with them. Within the answer to that question is the answer to how you help your customers. Focus on the value you deliver here, not the things you do, make or sell.
How to answer before it's asked: All of your marketing materials should highlight the value of doing business with you. Wherever you can - when networking, in sales communications, on your website - articulate how customers are better off for having done business with you.
4. Have you worked in my industry before?
A very common question, this one gives you opportunity to either highlight your expertise in a certain market or to show how your skills/experience translate easily and valuably to your prospect's industry.
How to answer before it's asked: Post - and keep current - an Industries Served section on your web site, case studies/customer stories in your marketing and sales materials.
5. How do you charge for your products and services?
Pricing strategies tend to vary based on whether you sell to businesses or consumers or whether you sell a product or service. During the sales process, it's important to have conversations about budgets as early as possible so no one's time is wasted and projects can be scaled successfully.
How to answer before it's asked: While you may choose not to publicize your pricing, consider posting package offerings with varying levels on your site so prospects can see that there are several ways to engage with you. In an About Us section, you can address that clients can engage with you on a project, hourly or retainer basis, if that's appropriate for your business.
6. Can we talk to people who have worked with you?
Many prospects will feel comfortable hiring you only after they talk to one or two of your clients. Having happy clients - current or past - that you can call on in these instances will always serve you well. Remember to connect with each client before giving his/her name to a prospect and give as much background about the opportunity as possible.
How to answer before it's asked: Gather customer testimonials from satisfied clients and display them in your marketing and sales materials.
7. Who will be my primary contact?
If you do a good job during the sales process, your prospects will develop a strong rapport with you. Bringing in someone new once the sale is closed may not go over well. Communicate early on about how the client work is structured and who the prospect will be working with directly.
How to answer before it's asked: A How We Work or What to Expect section of your website and/or sales proposals can explain your firm's structure - and highlight what you want. For example, if your clients always work with a principal in your business, you can articulate that. If they are assigned a dedicated account manager who is on call 24/7, you can highlight that.