Well, almost always.
In the role of professional salesperson, customer’s are going to ask questions, right? In return, you want to provide intelligent responses with valuable insight or information.
When you respond, would you rather respond with what might be considered to be average value, or would you rather respond with maximum value? If you want to provide maximum value, you might want to invest a few moments to understand their real question before answering.
For example, when deliver QBS training in a remote city, I sometimes ask a local person in the audience, “What’s the best way to get from here to the airport?” Invariably, the person gives me directions.
But, what would happen if I got to the airport and the nice person behind the ticket counter said, “I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re at the wrong airport!”
Dallas, Houston, and Chicago all have two commercial airports. There are three commercial airports that service Wash, DC, Boston, and four that service New York City. Surprisingly, no one ever asks me which airport I’m heading to before giving me directions.
Here’s how I would give directions if you asked me, “What’s the best way to get to the Atlanta airport?” I would say, “That depends, what time is your flight?” I might then ask, “Do you have to return a rental car?” I might even inquire, “How familiar are you with the area?” Now I can give specific and valuable directions.
Wouldn’t you give different directions (or product information) to someone who was very familiar with the area than someone who was completely lost?
Just as most people share fractionally, many customers won’t ask their complete question. It is, therefore, incumbent on sellers to ask a few clarifying questions to understand more specifically what is being asked, if you wish to provide maximum value in your responses.