Those of you who have been to our training sessions know that we base our fundamental sales concepts on asking questions. Thomas Freese and his book “Question Based Selling” is the core of our program. We focus on using questions to understand the clients needs and to better find solutions. But there is much more to the training. Much more.
If you have a chance to learn from the master- would you take it? If Clayton Kershaw wanted to teach you how to throw a curve ball would you listen to him? If Steph Curry was giving a clinic on shooting the 3- ball would you go? Well, Thomas Freese is at that level. Here is his latest article and a promo for his next training session. If you want to go contact my office and lets see if your production can qualify you for a tuition reimbursement or subsidy.
Strategic Questions Are Still King…
By: Thomas A. Freese
At the core of every sale, sellers must understand what customers need, and the extent to an opportunity is mutually beneficial. That’s why “discovery” and “qualification” will continue to be staples in every sales process.
The challenge is, just because a salesperson wants to ask questions, doesn’t mean potential buyers are open and willing to share with a salesperson they don’t yet know and trust.
Therein lies the rub. At every company, some salespeople are more effective than others, even though they’re all selling the same products and services to a similar target audience. Why do you suppose there’s such a wide variation in sales results, when they’re all simply trying to probe for needs and qualify the opportunity?
It’s because asking questions is only part of the formula for being successful in sales moving forward. While it’s true that questions do help the salesperson to better understand the customer’s needs and qualify opportunities, well-placed strategic questions can accomplish so much more.
Have you ever wondered why some salespeople are ‘killing it’ while others are struggling to keep their heads above water? One reason for this is because in addition to needs development and qualification, asking questions strategically is one of the best ways to accomplish a host of other important sales objectives, including:
▪ Making lead generation a self-fulfilling prophecy.
▪ Gaining more credibility and conveying greater value.
▪ Piquing the customer’s interest so they will “want to” engage.
▪ Differentiating yourself from the rest of the ‘noise’ in the marketplace.
▪ Increasing the customer’s sense of urgency to move forward.
▪ Shortening the sales cycle and protecting your company’s margin.
▪ Navigating to the right people within target accounts.
▪ Broadening the scope of the opportunity to close bigger deals.
▪ Securing commitments to take the next step in the sales process.
Trouble is, everyone talks about the importance of asking good questions, yet salespeople are often left to their own devices to figure out what questions to ask and how best to ask them.
While it’s true that some questions are more valuable and significantly more effective than others, it turns out that in addition to “what” questions you ask, “how” you ask them can make or break your opportunity to succeed.
Fortunately, human nature is very predictable. By identifying the triggers that cause potential buyers to “want to” engage in a discussion about their needs and your corresponding value, a savvy salesperson can significantly increase their sales effectiveness along with their bottom line results.
Might it be time to upgrade your questioning strategy?