Messages from the Masters
The most important aspect of making a sale -- is also a major weakness of every salesperson. Asking questions.
It's an enigma to me. Questions are so critical, you'd think it would be the topic of training every week. Yet salespeople are odds on favorites to have never taken one training program in the science of asking a question.
How critical? The first personal (rapport) question sets the tone for the meeting, and the first business question sets the tone for the sale. That's critical.
Benefits of asking the right question? Good question.
Here are 9.5 benefits to make sales by:
1. Qualify the buyer.
All these answers come from asking the right questions. Power Questions.
Here's the rub:
Here's the challenge:
Here are the 7.5 questioning success strategies:
1. Ask the prospect questions that make him evaluate new information.
How do you formulate a power question?
Here's the secret:
Sounds complicated -- but it isn't.
Here are some bad examples:
Here are some good examples:
Here's a winner: Scott Wells, of Time Warner Cable in Raleigh, came up with a grand-slam home-run question in a training session -- The objective was to ask a prospect qualifying questions about getting cable TV, and sell all premium channels possible. Scott asked, "If you owned your own Cable channel, Ms. Jones, what would be on it?" WOW, what a question -- it draws out all the likes, (and perhaps the dislikes) of the customer, and puts every answer in terms of the sale being made.
Here's a series: Let's say I train sales teams (hey, what a coincidence, I do). Here's a series of questions designed to make my prospect think about himself, and answer in terms of me. (Answers are not given here, and can sometimes play a part in question order, but you'll get the process.)
It's not just asking questions, it's asking the right questions. A sale is made or lost based on the questions you ask. If you aren't making all the sales you want -- start by evaluating the specific wording of the questions you're asking. Your answers are in your questions.Questions unlock sales. Uh, any questions? Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Knock Your Socks Off Selling and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless; Customer Loyalty is Priceless. To order Jeffrey's many books and/or audios and videos, go to www.yoursuccessstore.com. (c) 1999 All Rights Reserved.