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By Chris Joseph (Chron.com)
Getting the most out of your sales force is essential for gaining a competitive edge. However, if you don’t have mechanisms in place to measure the performance of your salespeople, you may not know for sure if they are operating at peak efficiency.
There’s one search happening on Google that seems to bring a fair amount of traffic to The Sales Corner. The search is “Sales Probing Questions.” The people searching these terms are generally looking for information on how to establish the correct questions to ask their customers. They are looking for magic tools to help them decide what are the right questions or not. I wish I could tell you what questions always work, but the truth is that you have to deal with a lot of trial and error in any sales environment.
The goal is to increase sales or marketing visibility. In order to do this effectively you need to remain in constant production. The problem is that a lot of sales people, don’t know how to go about this in a way that’s beneficial, and doesn’t waste their time, or the customers time. Often times they get burned out.
Here are five Sales Probing Questions below that you can use to immediately start to impact your customer relationships. As a sales rep I pride myself on knowing my customers and what their problems are, and what makes them happy. You’ll find benefit in the same!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to sell to everyone that comes into your pipeline.
The reality is, not every prospect is an ideal candidate for your product or service. The sooner you learn this important lesson, the sooner you can focus on the prospects that are ideal candidates for you to work with.
In his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich“, Napoleon Hill discussed the eleven secrets of leadership. Recently, as I was reading the book, it occurred to me that the attributes of strong leadership and effective selling have a tremendous amount in common. After all, to be really successful in sales, you need to be a leader, both within your own organization, as well as to your clients and customers.
To paraphrase management guru Peter Drucker, a leader is someone who not only does things right, but who also does the right things, while helping others do the same. The same holds true in sales: how better to serve your clients than to really know and understand what they do, and to truly help them do it better?
Parkinson’s Principle, “Work expands to fulfill all available time.”
Have you ever completed a work week only to find out the important things you set out to do were not accomplished? Oh, you were busy alright. You sent out countless emails, returned numerous phone calls, and attended essential meetings. After-hours you updated your CRM, worked on proposals, and squeezed in some time for your family. Boy! You were really productive. But those important things? Those critical things? They are still on your to-do list for next week. Somehow they just didn’t get done. And now they are joined by other must-dos. The result is an avalanche of tasks that threaten to sweep you away. Is that a white flag I see you waving?
To varying degrees we all face the above scenario. The better we are at our jobs the more tasks we usually find on our plates. And we deserve a rousing ovation! Somehow we find a way to get the necessary things done. The customer is taken care of. The boss gets his report. Our families see us during daylight hours. But the pressure and stress is enormous, and we never seem to get over the top.
Although we all know that bad customer service hurts a business, this fact is made much more realistic and understandable by the monetary loss a business suffers from poor customer service. US enterprises lose an estimated $83 billion as a result of poor customer service. Could your business be suffering and losing money because of your customer service?
- Myths of customer service
- Up-to-date data on how and why customers are affected by customer service
- How to use channels, technology, and other strategic choices to improve your customer service