I got a question this week about how to use questions to better control the sales conversation. The art of questioning is a good tool and I’ll address that, but there may be a few other considerations along the way.
Lead More Effective Sales Conversations and Close More Sales
Questioning can be a powerful tool in sales, but check your intent.
Your sales leads and prospects don’t want to be controlled. And, as I discussed in an earlier video on how to Release Control and Embrace Influence to Reach Your Goals, you might find the strategy of trying to control doesn’t serve your needs or theirs.
Questioning is also just one of many tools that can help you accomplish your sales goals.
In another video I provide 5 tips for closing more sales in your small business, including the up-front contract and the “What happens after what happens next?” strategy.
Remember Why You Having a Sales Conversation.
You’re there to add value. If all you do is answer questions and take orders you’re nothing more than a real-life brochure.
Your prospects are looking for a solution to a problem. If they fully understood the problem and the available solutions they wouldn’t need you. The problem is that they don’t know what they don’t know, so they come up with their own criteria for making the decision – often based on price and what “looks good”.
Your job is to understand the prospect’s needs and educate them on how to find the best solution. If you do this effectively, you will have positioned yourself as a credible expert and your product will likely be the natural fit.
Have a sales process.
Remember that you’re not there to ask questions just for the sake of control and asking questions. Your questions should be intended to help you better understand your prospect, or to help your prospect better understand themselves, the problem, or the solutions.
How to ask?
As with much in life, practice may be the key. Find a friend or family member to practice with and play with turning everything back to them in the form of a question. Provide a brief answer to the question you were asked and then turn it back to them with something like:
- But, can you tell me a little more about you (or your business)?
- Why do you ask that?
- Is that important to you?
- Is that what’s most important to you?
- Is that something you’ve struggled with in the past?
- Can you tell me more about what you’re looking for?
- So it sounds like that’s your problem – why is that?
There are endless possibilities. The point is, practice and get comfortable handing them back the spotlight. As the sales person, that’s where you want it anyway.
As a business owner, what’s your biggest sales challenge? Let me know in the comments.
In this video I also referenced two previous videos on effective sales strategies. Here are the links:
Release Control and Embrace Influence to Reach Your Goals
How to Close More Sales for Your Small Business
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P.S. If you liked the tips provided in this episode you might like my free, 20-minute guided meditation.