By : Stu Schlackman (SalesGravy)
The person who talks the most has the least control. Asking questions puts you in control of the conversation because it gives you the opportunity to go to a deeper level and gain better insights into the customer’s situation. Understanding customer needs makes it possible for you to recommend the best solutions and paves the way for them to choose you and your solution.
In Sales, It’s Not About You
Have you ever had a sales call turn out differently than you expected?
Several years ago I was on what I thought was one of the worst sales calls of my life. I walked into the prospects office, introduced myself and before I could sit down, he started to talk. I listened, nodded when I agreed and then listened more. One hour later, I asked my first question, “What is your biggest challenge going into the New Year?” He responded. Forty minutes later the meeting adjourned.
I felt terrible.
I never expressed my thoughts, concerns and ideas on what type of training would be appropriate for his sales team. One week later he called and said he loved our meeting and wanted to book the training for next month. WOW! Are you kidding me? And I thought I hadn’t done anything right in that meeting.
But, maybe I did.
In the book Power Questions by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas, the authors say that in sales, “it’s not about you. If you do all the talking, you learn nothing about the person. If you do all the talking, you’re in the spotlight. If you do all the talking, you don’t empower the other person.” The authors continue by saying, “Your job is not to listen and respond. Your job is to gain information and create a vibrant dialogue. That’s an important distinction. Tell me more is the magic key to open up the next layer of the other person’s thinking and experiences.”
Tell me more is key.