The courtroom was filled with spectators, reporters and cameras as the witness testified about what he saw on the afternoon of January 23rd, 2014. The camera zoomed in on the defendant’s attorney as his face flashed an insincere smile.
He turned and pointed toward the defendant. With his finger still pointed, he turned his head slowly back to the witness and said, “You really did NOT see the defendant make a sales presentation to the plaintiff without ever asking him any questions, did you Mr. Right?”
“Objection!” shouted the plaintiff’s attorney. “The defense is leading the witness!”
The judge looked at the defendant’s attorney – then returned his gaze to the witness and said, “I will allow the witness to answer the question before I make my ruling. You may answer.”
The courtroom was so silent you could have heard a pin drop.
The witness quietly answered, “Yes. Yes he did.”
Immediately the judge firmly stated, “Objection sustained!”
“Your Honor?” questioned the defense. “Why?”
The judge replied, “Making presentations prior to asking the right questions will always result in objections – and most will be sustained.”
I have always loved courtroom dramas. At one point in college, I actually considered applying to Law School. But alas, I am sure that the day to day life of being an attorney would not be nearly as fun as the movies I see. I would also bet that most of the cases could not be resolved in a two-hour period of time as I ate my popcorn. That’s a pity.
One of the things that separate the professional from the amateur in sales is their skillful use of questions. Understanding the way that your product or service provides value and meets the need of your prospect is the first step. Planning out carefully crafted questions that will result in your client thinking through their business or personal needs – and then getting them to verbalize those needs to you is a very important skill that you must learn. When that happens, it is almost as if your client will lay out your sales strategy for you.
In the employee benefit arena, I could have said, “I have a disability policy that your employees will really need and appreciate.” While that may be a true statement, what if I had asked a question that would have resulted in the company owner making the following statement to me?
“I have really wanted to offer a great disability policy to my employees, but I couldn’t.”
What questions do you ask your prospects now?
Make a list of 5 ways your prospect’s life or business will get better as a direct result of what your product or service does. Then on Monday, we will talk about how to craft questions that result in the prospect laying out your sales strategy for you.
Court will be in adjourned until Monday.
What would be the best statement your client could make to you, prior to buying your product or service?