I wouldn’t dare to say that there are sellers, that don’t ask any questions. Of course, they do ask! And still, the sales trainers insist on speaking about this topic anytime & every-time. I dare say that I am one of the worst proclaimers of asking more questions. So much so, that I wrote a book about it: Selling an convincing with questions (Sorry, only in German). But why do I annoy every salesperson, that I can get hold of? Of course, that is because questions bring so many benefits:
Creating The Sales Path
If you want to find out how you can sell something to your customers, there is only one solution: Ask relevant questions to them (of course without annoying them,)! In this manner, you can find about their decision-making process, financial budget, schedule and much more. All these answers being the essential information for your future sales strategy. Over and above you get to know the customers‘ mindset and gain an experience that builds the background of the decision for your client. Is he already convinced halfway through his decision or still very critical? You can also gauge to find that whether he trusts your company or requires more persuasion? Is he a spontaneous or cautious decision maker?
Only when you gather most of the answers to your questions, you will be able to argue and act appropriately.
Controlling the conversation
Controlled Conversation I am sure you must have heard that you can lead a fruitful conversation by asking different questions. But have you tested or tried out what exactly it means? If you want, you can change the topic at any point of the discussions. Of course, it’s more elegant if you don’t take too harsh turns. But in principle, you could manage a complete change of subject during the conversation.
That is useful when the client is forlorn in a story, that has nothing to do with your goal. Use a short interruption and his name to jump onto some other topic by saying „Mr. Smith; you said earlier that your storage costs increased! I would like to know more about this…“
The best way is to alternate between control and letting it go. Let your conversation partner lead but do take over again when it’s important for achieving your result. When you are steering the conversation in this manner, it will not become obvious.
You surely experienced that someone spoke to you on some topic. Depending on whether that topic was interesting for you or not, you gave your attention, and accordingly, you listened more or less, right? This principle applies to your client as well! When you tell them something, depending on their interest, they pay attention and concentrate more or less.
But if you lead your customer through various questions onto a specific topic, e.g., a problem or need, he is all yours! Instead of explaining how you can help to solve a dilemma, ask him the solution for it. Steer his attention to actual problems he has. If you now bring up a solution, you will be able to describe it more appropriately to your client. You also find your client’s open ears because his attention is right in the middle of this problem. It is as I said - asking questions does help!