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Discover Instant Sales Success: Ask Questions

By Dr Paul E Adams |

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. Robert Frost

If you want your sales success rate to shoot off the charts, ask questions. Yes, questions! Your will find this approach a welcome change from the high pressure sales pitches that cause prospects to shut down with a personal form of spam blocking. Yet, it is a rare sales training program that zeros in on techniques to discover the potential customer s interest and motivation, or as the old pros used to say- the turkey s hot button. Top producing sales guys and gals know that roping in the prospect is best accomplished with a series of questions. These winners know that a sales presentation that is not interactive is a monologue and monologues are boring. They know that monologues are one- sided, selfish, fail to recognize the identity or needs of the customer, and can turn people off.

Until I discovered how questions create sales, my presentations were dull and unsuccessful. And I was uncomfortable. I was never sure my prospect was interested or bored. As I do not have a magnetic personality that captivates everyone within sight, selling was hard work and at times unpleasant until I discovered the magic of a question. Then it all changed. Now I was listening. It was no longer a presentation, but a conversation about my product and my company. I learned that if I want my customer to talk to me, I must ask a question beyond: How are you. And I must listen to the answer, for therein lies the secret to the sale.

But, before you start to ask questions of others, first ask them of yourself. Create your questions around the features of your product and company. Try this. List five distinct features or benefits of your product or service, or five reasons to buy it. Your answers should be specific, not the usual trite such as quality, service, price, etc... But definitive reasons, such as why your quality is superb to your competition.

Your answers must have substance and meaning. Hackneyed phrases such as long lasting or lifetime warranty are clichés, puffery, and a waste of time. They do not sell or convince- they bore! If you have been successful, you will feel confident in talking about the benefits of your products and company.

To be successful, you must ask the right questions of your prospect. I can offer you sample questions, but you should create ones applicable to your product, company, and your personality. I suggest you start with a list of questions about your product features and company polices. Features such as performance specifications, materials, durability, options, and comparison to competition. Polices such as credit, advertising, and product return privileges can be compelling reasons for customers to buy from you.

Now, if you do not know anything about your prospect- how do you create a frame of reference to present your offer? With answers from questions aimed at uncovering your client s true needs. Such questions will help you to understand your prospect s interests and motives. And, they will help you to establish mutual trust. Questions show your interest! I believe in the statement: You must be interested in me, before I will be interested in your offer.

You may wish to try these samples. They can be the beginning of a profitable conversation.

How did you find out about my company?

Why are you interested in my product?

Do you have an immediate need?

Have you had experiences with similar products?

How are you going to use the product?

What can I do to convince you?

How can I get you to try my product?

What don t you like about my company or product?

Do you want me to check back with you?

You will find that questions can serve many purposes; fact finding, building customer interest, getting the customer to a yes, and keeping the door open for another day. With questions, your sales presentation need never again be a lecture to a fidgety prospect. But=to repeat myself- listen to the answers. For they give you the information about your customer that is the basis of tailoring your message to their needs. You sell to a person, not a generic human being. Without information, how can you? It is time to start your personal sales training program.

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