Everyone loves to be helpful. Because of this, you have a great opportunity to learn more about your prospects and clients if you learn how to ask the right questions at the right times.

Here are some examples of how asking for help, at the right time, can give you a treasure trove of useful information you can use to position your product or service to the right person.

When prospecting, if you don’t know the person or department you need to speak with, there is no better opening then:

“Hi, I need a little bit of help please… ”

Now the crucial thing here is not to then ask a question. Instead, what’s important is that you actually wait for the other person to offer to help you first. As soon as they say, “What do you need?” or “I can help you,” that’s when you reply with something like:

“Thanks. I’m looking for the person who handles your lead generation, who would that be please?”

If they don’t know the name, then be prepared with:

“Perhaps you could point me to the right department then?”

Asking for help in this way is also useful when you ask for someone and they aren’t there any longer. Also, it’s great for when you do reach someone and they turn out to be the wrong contact. When that happens use:

“Oh I see. Perhaps you can help then. Who would be the best person to speak with… ”

OR

“I see. Can you point me in the right direction please?”

OR

“O.K., perhaps you can help me: who would be the best person for me to speak with in terms of ordering your XYZ supplies?”

These techniques are great for finding the right person or department to speak with. But the power of this technique goes far beyond that. Use the following types of “help” questions once you do reach the appropriate prospect:

“Perhaps you can help me understand how you handle your XYZ process. How do you get involved in that?”

AND

“__________, we have a lot of solutions that may be a fit, but I don’t want to bombard you. Perhaps you can help give me a brief understanding of who handles what, and then I’ll be able to know who would be the best person for some of this. Let’s start with you – what do take care of there?”

AND

“_________, could you help me understand how this flows at your company? Who handles XYZ… ?”

AND

“_________, help me understand how the decision process works over there. How do you get involved?”

AND

“__________, I need a little bit of help to understand your org chart – who do you report to?”

AND

“Perhaps you can help me: I’m sure you’ve got a lot of people handling different things, let’s start with the part of the process you handle: what is that?”

Layer with:

“And who handles the other parts?”

As you can see, there are a lot of applications for the “I need a little bit of help, please” technique. Now a word of caution: don’t underestimate how powerful this is. While it seems simple, it is actually a very effective technique if used appropriately.