Messages from the Masters
Artful Questioning by Tom Hopkins

Many salespeople who haven't yet reached the professional stage think professional selling is exactly the opposite of what it really is. When you entered the selling field, you may have thought, "Now my job is to talk and talk and talk." So off you go. "Here it is folks. Won't ravel, rust, or rip. Can't blister, break, or drip. Oh, you're going to love it. You'd better buy now!" 

The professional salesperson, the true Champion, realizes that people have two ears and one mouth, and each should be used equally. This means that after talking ten seconds, you switch your mouth off, switch your ears on, and listen for 20 seconds. This also means that instead of overwhelming your future client with words, you encourage them to talk. Let's compare the two methods. 

The average salesperson speaking: "This is the best there is. Nothing on the market can touch it. We've got the best products because we're miles ahead of the competition. You'd better get it." 

"This insurance will do more for you than anything else you can find. You really should hurry and get it." 

"These items are on sale. Why waste your time shopping around? You can't get them for less." 

When salespeople use such methods, what are they doing? 

They're pushing, aren't they? 

They're arguing. They're telling people things they don't want to hear. They're trying to ram obvious self-serving statements down the future clients' throats. In effect, they are saying, "I'm out to make you buy something. The only reason I'm doing that is to put money in my pocket, and I don't care whether what you buy helps you or not." 

Such tactics quickly drive off everyone except the few who love to argue. Champion salespeople on the other hand, never give anyone the impression that they're pushing them - for the simple reason that they never push. But they do lead. 

The Champion leads his or her prospects from the initial contact to happy involvement in owning the product or service by not talking all of the time, by listening most of the time, and by asking artful questions. In all this alert and pointed questioning, the true professional maintains a friendly attitude of interest and understanding that encourages the prospect to open up and give the desired information freely. 

Have you ever been surprised at how freely you've talked to certain salespeople before buying from them? They were alert and interested. You felt comfortable with them. Recalling those conversations, you may think you were leading and the salesperson was following. 

Superficially, that was true - at first. In a deeper sense, however, that professional salesperson was leading all the way and you were following all the way.  How did that happen? The Champion encourages you to start off. Once you set your direction, he or she gets smoothly in front and begins to lead you toward any of several open paths to purchase. When artful questioning reveals which of the several paths is best, the Champion guides you smoothly and warmly to it. The halter goes over your head so softly that you never think about bucking. Instead you buy!

You can receive more information about Tom Hopkins as well as receive 20% off his audio and book products by going to or calling 877-929-0439.

Provided courtesy of  Jim Rohn International