“May I Ask You a Question?”
  • sales
  • Blog post

“May I Ask You a Question?”

Editor’s note: Today’s guest blog comes from Howard Partridge.

Do you know about the “power of the question?” Did you know that “tellin’ ain’t sellin”? Have you heard that asking questions during a sales presentation is much more effective than talking about your product or service?

Have you noticed that most salespeople break these rules on a regular basis? The last time you bought something, did the salesperson ask good questions or did he/she do most of the “telling”?

What about you? How are you doing in that area? Have you practiced the skill of asking questions? Have you discovered the power behind asking the right questions?

In fact, have you discovered the right questions to ask for your industry? Would you be surprised to find out that the questions are very similar for any product or service?

What about asking a new prospect…

  • “Who do I have the pleasure of speaking with today?” (Of course, someone’s name is music to their ears. So wouldn’t it be a good idea to to use their name along with all of the following questions that are directed toward them?
  • “How were you referred to us?”
  • “What prompted you to call me instead of someone else?”
  • “What did (the person or company that referred them) say about us?”
  • Or… “What was it about the ad/letter/etc. that got your attention?”

Do you think asking those questions might give you insight into their reasons for choosing you?

What if you followed that with: “Would you mind if I share a little bit about out how we do things here and how we can be of benefit to you?”

What if you then took about 60 seconds to share how you help them solve the major challenges that you know they have based on your industry research? Do you think this might help you connect with them emotionally and to position yourself as the credible source? Have you crafted a compelling USP (unique selling proposition) that will accomplish that? Is it memorized or somewhere you can access it whenever you might happen to speak to a prospect?

What if you then followed that with a series of pre-planned questions that would not only help you discover their needs, but help them discover their true needs as well? Did you know that most people don’t really understand what their true need is and how not solving it is hurting them worse than they realize?

Do you think you could improve on the questions you ask?

What if you followed the discovery questions with some possible solutions, but you put the solutions in the form of a question? What questions could you follow a statement with? What about: “Does that make sense?” Or: “does that sound like what you are looking for?”

Did you know that by slowing down and asking confirming questions you can uncover more objections than you would by just running through your benefits? What if you could address all of these objections before you quoted the investment?

By the way, what do you do when you get an objection? What if you asked a question? What kind of question? What about: “What do you mean it’s too high?” Does it make sense that if you simply repeat the objection, buyers are likely to tell you what the real objection is?

Have you heard that when you quote the investment, the first person to speak is usually the one who buys? Do you make it a habit of becoming silent after quoting the investment? If not, is it because you simply have not disciplined yourself, haven’t understood the importance until now, or don’t believe in your price?

Does it make sense that getting really good at asking questions will help you to sell more? How will selling more benefit you?

Did you notice that there isn’t one single statement in this article?

Howard Partridge is president of Phenomenal Products, Inc. which helps small business owners transform their “everyday” business into a predictable, profitable, TURN-KEY operation. For FREE business building resources from Howard, visit www.HowardPartridge.com today!

photo credit: Enderst07

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