Being able to construct and ask great sales questions is an essential sales skill, in this blog I'll share some tips on what to do to construct a great sales conversation
Asking the right questions allows salespeople to uncover customer needs and concerns, build rapport, control the sales conversation and ultimately close the sale; a key point to remember is that the person asking the (right) questions controls the conversation. Moreover, the questions we intend to ask should be constructed and documented before we meet the customer.
Use Open Ended Questions
Start with open-ended questions: Open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no" response. These types of questions encourage the customer to elaborate and provide more information about their needs and preferences. For example, "How would you describe your current situation and “what are you looking to achieve from your investment in the project”
Use probing questions: Probing questions allow you to delve deeper into a customer's needs and concerns. These types of questions help you understand what is driving the customer's decision-making process and can help identify objections or concerns that need to be addressed. For example, "What concerns do you have about changing the way you currently operate?" or "How does our solution compare to others you have considered?"
Be Careful with Leading Questions
Be careful in your use of leading questions: Leading questions are those that suggest a particular answer and if not used correctly can be seen as manipulative or pushy. These types of questions can turn off customers and damage your credibility if not presented in the correct manner. It's important to use leading questions sparingly and (wherever possible) allow the customer to come to their own conclusions.
Use Active Listening
There’s no point asking great questions if you don’t listen to the answers. Use active listening: Active listening involves not just hearing what the customer is saying, but also paying attention to their body language and tone of voice. This allows salespeople to better understand the customer's needs and concerns and respond with more relevant and personalised follow up questions.
Use "Why" (but be careful)
Use the "why" technique: Asking "why" can help salespeople uncover the underlying motivations behind a customer's needs or concerns. For example, "Why are you looking for a product like this?" or "Why do you think this product would be a good fit for your needs?" This can help salespeople tailor their pitch to the customer's specific needs and also to manage their objections. A word of warning on using “why" is don’t overdo it or it can come across as aggressive.
For clarification use the "what" technique: Asking "what" can help salespeople clarify a customer's needs and preferences. For example, "What specifically are you looking for in a product like this?" or "What would a successful outcome look like to you?" This can help you understand exactly what the customer is looking for and how your product or service can meet those needs.
Use the "how" technique. Asking "how" can help you understand the customer's decision-making process and identify any objections or concerns they may have. For example, "How do you plan to use this product?" or "How have you made decisions for projects like this in the past?"
Bringing It All Together
Creating and asking great sales questions involves using a variety of open-ended, probing and clarifying questions to understand the customer's needs and concerns.
By actively listening to the responses and using the "why," "what," and "how" techniques to qualify the customer, you can tailor your sales proposal to the their specific needs, overcome their objections and ultimately progress towards a successful outcome to the sales process.
About johnpc ltd
johnpc ltd helps B2B organisations improve their sales processes, capabilities and results.
Our services are individually tailored to the needs of our customers, with a core focus centred on,
Sales Transformation Projects
Sales Skills Training
Everything DiSC Profiles and Workshops.
The work we do enables our customers to,
Increase profitability - by improving effectiveness and conversion rates
Reduce cost - by improving sales processes and productivity
Enhance reputation - by increasing the professionalism of their sales activity
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