You don’t need a fortune teller to see the future and help you sell. All you need to do is to ask your prospects and customers the questions that make sales for you. Which would those be? The ones that get you the information that you need to sell. Here are a few questions that work and why.
Pain often motivates and uncovers real needs.
Do you think your customers love shopping for your product? Think automobiles, insurance or picking your utility company. There are many products that buyers just hate to buy. This happens when the product is complex. Customers hate it when it takes a long time to research the competition. Their blood pressure rises when the options to consider get confusing and they suddenly feel immobilized.
Here’s the question to ask if you want to motivate your customer to buy from you. Just ask, “ What’s your least favorite part of buying (whatever hated product you sell)? I predict you are going to get an earful. Simply listen and nod. You’ll probably get even more discomfort uncovered and a customer who gladly wants to offload the hated buying process to you.
Just be sure that during the conversation you confirm that your prospect wants to get the assistance of a knowledgeable, experienced supplier who can guide him along the buying process. Then demonstrate that you are that person.
Separate the liars from the possible prospects.
Too many sales professionals waste time on prospects who are never going to buy. Even making one sales call to learn that the prospect has no intention of buying is one wasted sales call too many. Then imagine that your question could uncover the character of the person you are considering as a customer. Wouldn’t that be helpful information?
Here’s the question to ask. “Are you 100 per cent satisfied with your current (product) provider? Now think about if you sell information technology services. You have to wonder when someone says, “Yes, I’m 100% satisfied.” How could that be? No one could be 100% satisfied.
They might not know if they were 100% satisfied. The technology world moves so fast, there might be options that are better for them that they don’t know about. The other consideration is that they could be simply not telling the truth. They want to get rid of you by saying that they are 100% satisfied. Either way you know that they would not be a good prospect for you and you get to move on quickly.
Clarify your prospect’s thinking and identify the key issues to address.
Your job is to help your customer make a buying decision. It’s often difficult when there are too many options to consider. Your sales call might include a discussion of many different areas which you could address by selling a product or service. But, selling too many things might be confusing.
The question to ask your prospect is “What’s the most important issue for you today?” Your prospect tells you what he thinks are the top three issues to address. You then get to focus on those three issues and not put too much effort into less important issues.
The most important skill in selling is listening, but you first have to ask the right questions to listen to the answers. I’m no fortune teller, but I predict that you will make sales when you ask your prospects these questions.