Many salespeople have been taught to ask questions regarding the prospect’s “pain” or “problem.” They go in to talk with the prospect and ask questions about difficulties, problems and pain creating situations. They expect the prospect to list all their difficulties, problems and pain creating situations that they are currently experiencing. This approach is flawed. If you use it, you are limiting yourself to a very small percentage of the situations where you could possibly add value. The reason for the limitation is fairly simple. You can only get sales from people who are prepared to answer, “Yes” to your question. The vast majority of people will say, “No, I’m okay.” This answer leaves you, as a salesperson with no way of continuing the conversation except to say, “That’s fine” and walk away.
Lets imagine you are a builder, you build houses, do alterations and maintenance. If you were to go and ask a prospective client, “Tell me, what sort of difficulties are you having with your current builder?” In the majority of cases the answer would be, “None, they are okay.” In this case you would’ve learned very little about your prospective customer. You would leave there after being told that they had no problems with their current builder and be basically none the wiser.
You would have gotten a much different answer if you had phrased your question like this. “Tell me, how did you choose your current builder?” The difference between the two questions is the key to being successful in your selling.
The second question may have created a response like, “I asked a friend of mine and they said that they had heard of this builder that was very good. They hadn’t used them themselves but they were highly recommended. I have been using them now for two years and most of the time they are pretty good. They make mistakes every now and again which is a pain in the backside but they fix them up when I remind them.”
In this situation you have started a dialogue which can only add to your knowledge about the prospective customer, their likes and dislikes. Compare this with the first question which really was a conversation stopper.
When you are speaking to prospective customers if you can design your questions so that you gather information, you are then in a situation where you can make a proposal. If you try and seek out their problems and their pain, you will lose the opportunity with the vast majority of your prospects. So having got in the door to ask the questions make sure that your questions are productive.
One secret is to ask questions about what they do or have done. If you ask somebody the question, “Tell me, what are the criteria that you use for selecting your builder?” This will give you valuable information that will enable you to mold your presentation to meet their criteria. If you don’t know the criteria then you are just going to tell them things which may or may not be relevant.
Another secret is to ask questions and then listen very carefully because your prospect will give you the information so that you can present your products or services in a way that is attractive to them.
Post time: 03-30-2017