Many business owners and salespeople fail to use one of the most powerful sales strategies available to them.
They simply don’t leverage the selling power of asking questions.
Asking questions delivers two key benefits: First, it allows you to find out more about what your prospect wants. And second, it gives you something you must have if you’re going to lead your prospect through your selling process – CONTROL.
And when I say control, I don’t mean it in a manipulative way. Selling is all about arriving at an outcome where both you and your prospect benefit.
Since you are the expert at knowing the value your product or service offers, it only make sense that you are in the best position to lead your prospect through the selling conversation in an efficient way.
Questions are the answer!
But not just ANY questions. You want to use certain types of questions and use them in a strategic manner to move your prospect through your selling process to a win-win result.
Here are 5 strategies for using questions when you’re in a selling conversation:
1. Alternate Open and Closed Questions
Open-ended and closed questions can help you uncover the information you need provided you understand when to ask them.
Use an open-ended question at the start and in the middle of the conversation. This allows you to keep the selling conversation with your potential customer moving forward.
Closed questions need to be used more strategically because the nature of a closed question can produce awkward pauses and make the conversation abrupt.
When you do use a closed question, try to ask them:
- In succession, like a diagnosis.
- When you’re near the end of the selling
Closed questions can bring the conversation to a halt perhaps sooner than you want.
2. Use Questions Individually
Resist the temptation to ask a number of questions in a rapid fire manner. Even if they’re related, ask them one at a time and get the answer BEFORE moving onto the next one.
Prospects won’t know which question you want them to answer.
Batch related questions so they are asked in close timing with each other so that the conversation is easy to follow and your prospect doesn’t get confused.
3. Build Questions Naturally Into The Conversation
A professional selling conversation won’t feel like selling at all.
Remember, you’re trying to find out whether or not your product or service is a fit for your prospect AND whether or not your prospect is a fit for you.
The objective is to solve your customer’s problem. If you do that, the sale will be a natural outcome.
People buy from people. Try to be conversational. There’s no set way a conversation will evolve so be flexible.
4. Show Interest In Your Prospect By Asking Non-Related Questions
The whole point of asking questions is to increase your “know, like and trust” factor with your prospects. Yes, you’re trying to make a sales but an effective way to get your prospect more engaged is to be genuinely curious.
Ask questions about their interests, family or other things not related to your selling proposition so you can get a better understanding of who you’re talking to.
5. Let Your Prospect Answer The Question
Have you ever been asked a question only to have the person who asked it answer it? We all have. And it sends the wrong message.
Don’t rush your prospects. If they want to think about their answers, let them. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of silence.
Pauses are part of a normal, flowing conversation. Treat them like that.
To change your selling results, pick one or two of the strategies above and apply it them to the way you handle sales inquiries.
Once you master those two, try to implement the others and it won’t be long before your selling conversations start producing increased results.