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The Ability to Ask

Posted on: January 24

Author: Admin
The Ability to Ask

The greatest sales people don’t have the “gift of gab”. What they have is the ability to ask questions. Harvard did a study of the history of “sales scripts” in American Business. The first planned presentation they found dates back to 1863. But more importantly, they found that one common denominator in all the scripts were the use of questions.When you make a presentation of your product or service to a prospect, it should be a series of questions. The first series of questions should be rapport building questions. You build rapport by finding something in common with the prospect. So the first series of questions should be about the prospect.For example, “Where are you from?”, “How long have you been here?”, and “Where were you before this?” Once you find something in common with the prospect, you can move to the second series of questions. Rapport building is important, your prospect won’t engage you fully until you have established a common link.The second series of questions are “needs based” questions. This is the discovery phase of a presentation. You are trying to find or create a need for your product or service. Nothing could be more important than this part of the sales presentation. For the most part, these questions should be committed to memory. Before you present your product or service, you must identify a need or want. This can best be accomplished by well thought out questions.The third series of questions are interest based questions. As you present your products or service, you should be asking questions that determine the interest of your prospect. For example, “Are you with me so far?”, “Does that make sense?” and “Do you see any benefit in that?” These questions help you determine interest and make your presentation conversational. Your presentation shouldn’t be a lecture, it should be conversational. This only happens if you ask questions.The fourth series of questions are described as “ the trial close.” No matter what product I’ve sold I’ve always used the same trial close. After I’ve finished the presentation of my product or service, I ask this question, “How does it sound so far?” This is my trial close. If I get a positive response, I move to the fifth series of questions, closing questions. If I don’t get appositive response, I answer the objection or the question.Last, closing questions. Every sales conversation, weather by phone or in person should end with an obligating question. These obligating questions can lead to another meeting or to signing the agreement. They can be assumptive. For example, “In order to get started, I just need a few pieces of information….” Or they can be an alternative of choice. “Would you want to start this month or the first of next month?” They can focus on an impending event, “The sale ends tomorrow,  would you want to take advantage of the discount?”You get the idea. From now on, think of your presentation as series of questions. The better the questions, the better you’ll find your results.Questions or comments? E-mail me at tom.black@bancsourceinc.com

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