When leading a sales team, a sales conversation, or any other endeavor to influence the decisions and behaviors of others; questions are king.
One of the greatest skills you can ever have in sales in the ability to design and ask great questions. Your questions should begin from your basic knowledge of the needs of your customer and how your solution will provide value to them. Those questions should then proceed into the areas of need that your client may have, but in which you may have little or no familiarity. Additionally, your questions should move into areas of insight that your personal research has uncovered – for which your client may have a limited understanding.
The first purpose of your questions is to give your client an open forum to express issues they face. Then if your product or service provides a solution – everyone wins.
The second purpose of your questions is to lay out needs and strategies for your client which are immediately accepted by them as valid and valuable. The reason for this immediate acceptance is simple. If you ask the right questions to your prospect, they will give you the data and the conclusions. And since they said it, they accept it.
It’s all about them.
“You are the salesperson. If you say something, in their eyes you are selling. They are the client. If they say something, in their eyes it is factual. When you ask the right questions – they will lay out the facts and the solutions for you.”
– Jeff C. West
My friend, Bob Burg had a great article on this subject.