Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to Ask the Right Sales Questions: Get Your Prospects to Open UP!!!

I gave my standard sales questions a smack in the face this week! Yep, I took my standard list of questions and burned them. Then I stomped on them. Why? I realized a whole new method of sales questions, which works much better to accomplish one key thing: GET YOUR PROSPECTS TO OPEN UP!

Sales questions aren't just based on needs and pain. Nope, they are based on what how the prospect "feels" about their situation. Think about it this way. Ever have a pain in your left knee that comes and goes? I do. If someone were to ask me about my pain I would tell them that it hurts. If they were to try to dig into how much it hurts, I would say, "Oh, only so often". Let's say they ask me about what I've tried to do about it, I would say, "Not much".

"Not much!" The questioner would say.

"Yeah, not much." I would answer.

"I thought this was painful?". They would ask with a serious look on their face.

"Not that painful, just sometimes." I would say.

"Then it sounds like you're not willing to do anything about it, and you have no need for our solution?" They would ask, pulling out a pen and writing something down.

"I guess not."

You see the pattern here? I am in pain and I DO have a need, but it isn't that serious. This is a classic mismatch: sales person is pushing and I'm pushing back. Imagine this another way:

Sales: now, where is your pain?

Me: right here on the inner thigh.

Sales: how long have you had this pain?

Me: oh, about two years.

Sales: I imagine I'm not the first person you've talked to, right?

Me: no, I've talked to a few others.

Sales: what were their suggestions?

Me: oh, take this and that.

Sales: those didn't work, huh?

Me: not really.

Sales: are you even interested in trying a new solution, or no?

Me: sure, I'd give something a try if it worked.

Sales: how long would you need to see if it worked?

Me: like a week or so.

Sales: what about two weeks?

Me: ok

BINGO.... Do you see how the sales person "really cares" about my pain? Do you see how the questions just flow? I'm amazed by how "CARING" and THE RIGHT QUESTIONS make all the difference. We used this method yesterday with great results: we were able to talk about some solutions after they had opened up to what their pain really is. The conversation was classic, "let me see if I can help you, maybe I won't be able to, but I just need to ask a few questions. Is that ok?"

1 comment:


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