Customer Experience News & Trends

2 requirements for sales success

Some salespeople ask the right questions, but fail to listen to the answers. Others ask a lot of questions but not ones that get prospects thinking emotionally and creatively about their needs. Both are huge problems.

Selling success requires two things: A) the ability to ask good questions, and B) the ability to listen — really listen to the answers.

The advantages of good questioning

Here are five good reasons for asking the right questions on a sales call:

  1. They help you understand the prospect’s current situation.
  2. They help establish the rapport that’s so helpful in fostering a “comfort level” between you and the prospect.
  3. They help you understand the decision-making process of a prospect.
  4. They reinforce your credibility with a prospect by demonstrating that you’re interested in his or her needs and opinions.
  5. They motivate and sustain your prospect’s interest, stimulate thinking and modify attitudes regarding your product or service.

Developing questions

You can improve the quality of your questioning dramatically by spending five minutes before each call thinking about these points:

  1. Choosing pieces of missing information that you must get from the prospect.
  2. Phrasing your questions in an effective manner. If you phrase your questions poorly, you may get loaded, self-serving or defensive answers.
  3. Asking your questions in an appropriate sequence. No matter how appropriate your questions are, you may not get the information you need if they’re asked in the wrong order.
  4. Do you need information about the buyer’s needs? What are the specific results that the prospect expects to gain from what you’re selling?
  5. Do you need more information about competitors? What are their primary strengths and weaknesses? What is the price differential between you and competitors? Is price a major factor with this prospect?

Adapted from the book “How to Listen and Double Your Influence With Others,” by Brian Tracy, an internationally recognized sales skills development speaker and trainer.

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