The salesman at my door yesterday kept telling me “I’d love to give you this one-time offer of a free lawn mowing service!” as he then launched into 25 more minutes of extra details as I thought about my lawn, that had been perfectly mowed by my teenagers...YESTERDAY.
You can imagine how frustrating it was to have someone on my porch for 25 minutes, offering me something I truly didn't need. Had he mentioned weeding or even edging, I may have been sold. But he didn’t spend one second asking me what my needs were. So he just wasted 25 minutes of my time, while my baby screamed in her highchair. This man needed a business acumen for sales course.
This is why we think questions are the most important part of the sales process! The salesman could have saved himself 25 minutes if he had taken the time to ask me just a few simple questions. The concept seems so simple: most people agree that relationship building is a major part of sales and that a primary way to close a deal is to understand what the main frustrations are for your clients. But so many people skip this step or at least don’t do it well, or will just assume that they understand their client's pain points.
I say NO MORE! So, I've put together six key questions I believe could really change your sales process, and help you gain success and momentum in your career.
What prompted you to reach out? Or why did you take this sales meeting?
What is in it for you personally? What is at stake for you?
What have you tried in the past? What have you tried internally to solve the problem?
Give me an example of the problem. Help me better understand the context.
How are we going to measure success?
How does your C-suite view this problem?
Asking these simple questions can give you an immeasurable amount of context. Just this information can help with your selling techniques, and help you to be successful. We want your customers to feel like you’re really listening to their problems, understanding them, and fixing them in a way that is most beneficial to them. You can have the knowledge of their CEO’s motives, their own problems, what their budgets are, the moves they’ve already tried, and clear answers on what will make it a successful relationship, by just taking the time to ask questions. It could also save you, as a salesperson, time, money, and effort! Some basic business acumen skills could have saved you weeks of planning and months of prospecting. Don’t lack in your questions – you want to build relationships and be a consultative seller.