Sales is about the transfer of trust. Your prospect must have trust in you. You can make it easier and faster for a prospect to trust you by the questions you ask.
Question #1. In the unlikely event of an error, how and when would you like to be notified?”
Murphy’s Law exists. Things will go wrong. Do you know what your customer wants you to do when things go wrong?
Here’s what could happen if you don’t know the answer to that question. You might be trying to fix an error. Your customer learns about the fix later and now he’s angry that he wasn’t told.
Maybe you fixed 95% of the problem, but something still fell through. Now he wonders what else went wrong that he didn’t know about. There’s more anger.
Then there are some customers who just don’t want to know about problems. Wouldn’t you like to learn who these types are before you have problems? You will know when you ask the question.
Question # 2.How’s that working for you so far?
Customers don’t know what customers don’t know. Yet, it’s a delicate art to educate a customer without making him feel stupid. When you hear something that makes you think, “He could be doing so much better” that’s the time to ask the question, “How’s that working for you so far?”
Even if your customer says, “It’s working well” you get to ask follow up questions that are more specific. You can ask, “Are you experiencing any of the following?” and you learn if he truly is experiencing a product or service that is working well for him.
Question #3. What have I missed? or What should I have asked that I didn’t?
Often it’s at the end of a sales call that you learn even more. This is the question to learn what you missed or what you didn’t ask that helps you uncover even more useful information.
Question #4. What are your thoughts about…? or What have you considered?
It’s always nice to know how a customer is going to decide to buy. You can ask some customers the question directly. Others would perceive it as too direct and you would lose any trust you had built in the relationship. What are your thoughts about (any buying criteria)? is a useful question to ask that uncovers different aspects of the buying decision. It’s less threatening to less assertive people. The listener perceives it as a positive, too because you’re trying to learn more about him and that’s what good listeners do.
Questions are the key to successful selling. They give you the information you need to sell. The right questions build trust with your prospects and that’s what helps them to decide to buy.