"Sometimes questions are more important than answers." Nancy Willard, American poet
Jeopardy contestant: "Alex, I'll take prosperity for $200."
Alex: "Answer: This will land you more sales."
Contestant: "What is asking the right questions?"
I can't help you win Jeopardy, but I can help you increase your sales by asking questions - but only if you keep reading.
Yes, the answer to more sales is as simple as asking the right questions. Stop and think about the last time someone attempted to sell you something by blurting facts (and perhaps some lies mixed in). Let me guess, you didn't buy.
But why? The answer is simple: you and your thoughts, your needs, your wants were all omitted. Left out entirely. How much sense does that make when you consider that EVERY sales scenario is entirely all about the prospects' thoughts, needs and wants. And yet, day after day, thousands of salespeople verbally assault their targets with an unrelenting barrage of facts, stats, numbers and all the rest.
Can you remember the last time someone asked you a thoughtful, open-ended question - a question that actually sought to better understand you? And if you do remember it, think about how good it made you feel. Someone took the time to do something to truly connect with you. What a concept: human connection. Yet, that's precisely what sales is all about.
So, yes, questions can help you connect plus they can help you:
- Begin a dialogue
- Build rapport
- Find common ground
- Prove that you respect others
- Shine light on relevant issues
So what else do you need to know about asking questions? Here are some answers - about questions!
1. Think problems. True, that doesn't sound inviting, but at its root, making a sale is all about solving problems. Ask questions that uncover those problems. What issues stand tallest in your mind about this product/service? What problems do you think are holding you back from buying this product/service? "Is there anything I haven't covered that's important to you?"
2. Think loss. If there's anything people hate, it's losing. Losing anything that is potentially in their grasp, only to see it go up in smoke. Consider carefully worded questions that expose what a prospect could lose if they don't act. If you don't act on this offering, what would that cost you in terms of money and your ideal future?
3. Think emotion. Remember, buying is almost always an emotional event. Go with questions that can evoke emotion, questions that let prospects imagine a scenario where they or their family is enjoying specific aspects of your product or service. Do you think your kids would enjoy using this product?
4. Think closing. A sale that isn't closed isn't a sale at all -- it's a waste of time. If you want the business, ask for it! It sounds like from our conversation, we have a fit here. Would you like me to proceed? "Does this seem to be the kind of solution that could work for you?"
Let me hear from you. What questions do you have about, well, questions? Are you using questions as effectively as you can? If not, what's the problem? Do you believe asking questions could help you as you work with prospects?
Bubba Mills is the CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international Real Estate, Mortgage, and Small Business coaching company. Mills is a nationally recognized speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. Visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com.