“I already know what my customer needs. It’s always the same. They are just after the best price,” or even, “To be honest, I am not interested at all in what the client wants to tell me.“ These are examples of huge attitude mistakes. Think these examples are unrealistic? Not at all. These are original quotes from my seminars. Fortunately, most of my participants think differently. But every so often, there are people that think and act exactly this way when it comes to questions.
I am sorry to say that these sellers cannot be successful in the long term. They miss too many sales opportunities and close too many doors. In the end, questions show your respect to the client and that doesn’t work with this attitude.
To avoid mistakes like this I invite you to reflect on yourself through the following three questions:
1. Are you open?
Do you really want to find out what your customer thinks and what their demands are? Or do you just want to hear that you are right?
If you go for the first option, you probably ask many opening questions already. You really want to learn something new about your client and try to find out how they think and who they are.
In the second case you will tend to ask closed questions. These work fine to find out if your prejudice is right. You guess what the truth is and hope for a “Yes”. Unfortunately though, you rarely find out something new.
To ask open questions also means to be open.
2. Do you want to find out the customer’s truth?
Even if you already have an idea of what the client wants or needs, it’s far more elegant to ask them. Customers prefer to explain themselves what’s important for them instead of hearing it from the “super-smart sales guy”. Do not offer anything before asking if your suggestion is appropriate or relevant. This way your customer feels more appreciated.
This is especially important when you try to assess a problem. Perhaps you think the problem is huge (because you can offer a solution for it), yet the client doesn’t see an issue at all. In this case you can only accept this fact and look for another attempt to convince the client.
Get realistic and it gets easier.
3. Are you honestly interested?
To be truly interested doesn’t only mean being interested in business. It also means being interested in the human being that sits with you at the table. Clients know if you are only after their money, and in my experience they don’t like that.
But even if you say: “I don’t want to marry that guy,” consider this: Your lack of interest in the person can cost you money. To find out which type sits opposite you, which values they have and how you can reach them, will all help you to get to your target. I personally believe that in order to be a great salesperson you should like people. This way you will love your job more and be better at it.