Asking good questions can make the difference between making a bad sales call and engaging the prospect in a worthwhile conversation. Here are some important tips to remember:
- Use ‘assumptive problem’ open-ended questions
Instead of saying, “Do you have any problems with moving your product now?” say, “How are you handling problems that occur while transporting your product?” If you know your industry well enough, you’re aware of the problems that everyone seems to have. You are asking your prospects to quantify and explain the implications and consequences of those problems.
- Use ‘instructional statements’
Don’t ask for information; tell them to give it to you. Use phrases like, “Tell me a little about……….”; “Share with me……….”; “Give me some idea of……….”; “Detail the way………” and, “Let’s talk about how you……….”
- Ask yourself questions before you make the call
Think about the call before you make it. Ask, “What do I want them to do as a result of this call?” This will determine your primary objective. Then ask, “What information do I need from them?” This will provide whatever qualifying or information-gathering questions you must ask. Finally, ask, “What do I need them to think and believe in order to take the action I desire?” The answer to this question provides the points you’d ideally like to get across….without actually making the points yourself. They are ideas for them to discover through your questions. The reasoning is that people always believe more of what they say and think than of what you say. One of the surest ways to give yourself a fair chance at making a sale is to ask the right questions.