by: Peter Lawless
Did you ever end up buying something that you did not know you wanted, and yet it felt the most natural thing in the world? Can you remember what the sales person said to you? Did it feel like they really understood you? Would you like to be able to get that same reaction from your customers? Read this article to learn how to woo your future customers the same way.
My regular readers, by now will have realised that the art of all successful selling, is to ask the questions. All good sales questions have the following characteristics;
The Right Person
AT the Right Time
The Right Questions
Listen, then have;
The Right Answers
IN the Right Way
With The Right Evidence
At all times have a great Attitude
Whether you like it or not, you are always selling, selling benefits for someone, including yourself. When you go to the bank for a loan, you are selling yourself and your business idea. When you ask someone on a date, you are selling them on spending time with you. When you play a sport with someone, you are selling them on the fact you are an enjoyable person to spend time with.
I am however going to assume for this article that you have an offering that you wish people to buy, and I will cover 4 times that you have an opportunity to sell your concept, by asking the right questions.
Questions to ask at a seminar or networking event
The one-many networking concept, means that you get a chance to speak, while many people listen to you. You are speaking to many people, while they get an understanding of what you can do for them. Everyone always wants to know what you can do for them.
You stand up and before you deliver your irresistible sales presentation, that will have buyers flocking to your door, you must start off by asking them a few questions.
I am going to use as an example, one of my clients, who help their customers dramatically decrease their expenses, by having the experts analyse their spend patterns, and negotiate fantastic deals on their behalf.
In order to maximise your audience’s understanding of your proposition, you must involve them in the learning process. The questions they would ask at an event may be as follows;
Would everybody please stand up for a moment?
Would everybody, who is 100% certain that they are fully in control of their costs and expenses, and are not paying a cent over the odds, please sit down.
OK, would everyone, who is happy to continue paying over the odds, please sit down.
OK, you can all sit down again, but I would really like to know why you have not done something about this before. In fact why don’t I see which of the three most common reasons, for not doing this, matches your circumstances.
You never thought about it before
You don’t have the time to do it, because you are swamped
You need to bring in someone who knows what they are doing and has done it before.
Now can you imagine, in a room of 20 Financial Directors, how many of them, would not want to know more about these guys, and if they could get substantial savings, as a result of their services.
Questions to ask on the phone
Most people on the phone get hung up on their result. In fact some gurus even teach you how to feel good when you get rejected. The main reason that you get rejected, is not because the customer does not want what you have, it is because they don’t want to be sold to yet again!
So have a conversation with them. Your end goal should be to find out if there is a match between you and the stranger on the other end of the phone, and to find out what they want to do about it. To get to this ask the following types of questions;
Are you able to speak for a minute?
Would you please be able to help me out with something?
I was trying to understand if you were 100% certain that you were getting the very best value for money from all your suppliers.
Would be interested in knowing how much we saved for XYZ Company?
Now I am not sure if we could do the same for you unless we took some time to explore this together, how would you suggest we proceed from here?
Questions to ask in a prospect meeting
Very similar to those above, your questions should be aimed at getting the prospect to tell you in their words, what their problems are, and how they believe you can help them, with your offering.
At minimum, you should ask the following questions;
Thanks for taking the time to see me, how long do we have?
Great, now that I am here, what precisely was it that made you want to see me?
Could explain to me in detail; how that is impacting what you do in your business?
If that were solved, what would you be able to do then?
How would you put a value on getting that?
When would you like to start getting this value?
What has stopped you up to now, from getting this value?
Just try these questions out, modified of course to your own business. They may seem a little strange at first, but then again, so did walking when you were 12 months old! Take a note of the results, I would love to know how much more business you win.
If you need any help in crafting these questions for your business, why not avail of our free sales and marketing assessment. This way we will know together, whether or not I can help your business reach the levels that you really desire.
This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing http://www.3r.ie. For previous articles like this, visit 3R’s Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles.