A Message from Tom
Strategic Questions are Still King!
“Motivating salespeople is going to be the key to success moving forward. And, the best way to motivate a sales team is to give them specific strategies and techniques that will enable them to win more sales (more often), and then repeat their successes!” -T. Freese
At the core of every sale, sellers must ask questions 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 problem is, just because a salesperson wants to ask a bunch of sales 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 success formula moving forward. While it’s true that questions help sellers better understand the customer’s needs and qualify opportunities, asked strategically, questions can do so much more.
Have you ever wondered why some sellers 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:
- Gaining credibility and conveying greater value.
- Piquing the customer’s interest so they will “want to” engage.
- Differentiating yourself & your offerings from the competition.
- Increasing the customer’s sense of urgency for moving forward.
- Shortening sales cycles and protecting profit margins.
- Navigating to the right people within your target accounts.
- Broadening the scope of the opportunity.
- Securing commitments to take the next step in the sales process.
Trouble is, everybody talks about the importance of asking good sales questions, yet salespeople are often left to their own devices to figure out what questions to ask and how best to ask them.
Meanwhile, some questions are significantly more valuable and more effective than others. It also turns out that in addition to “what” questions you ask, “how” you ask them can make or break your opportunity to engage the prospect, or make the sale.
Might it be time to upgrade your questioning strategy?
Fortunately, human nature is very predictable. Thus, by identifying the triggers that cause prospective 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.
-- Thomas A. Freese,
Author/President, QBS Research, Inc.